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American Combat Planes of the 20th Century is an incredible reference for anyone who is interested in any American Combat Plane History.   There are 758 pages and 1700 b/w photos in this substantial labor of love by Ray Wagner, who has been passionately researching and writing about aircraft for over 50 years.   Whether you are already familiar with his past works, or just discovering this accomplished author for the first time... This is the book that you've been waiting for!

If you'd like to see the book's   Table of Contents ... Click here.   You can also browse the entire   Index Section   to get an idea of the extensive amount of information that is covered within this book.

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A- 1 Eaton     A- 4 Skyhawk     A- 6 & A- 7     Air Weapons     AV- 8 to A- 10     A- 20 Havoc     A- 22 Martin Maryland     A- 23 Martin Baltimore     A- 24 Douglas     A- 26 Douglas Invader     Attack Planes     B- 2A, F-111, F-117 Stealth    B- 17 Flying Fortress     B- 24 Liberator     B- 25 North American     B- 26 Marauder     B- 29 Superfortress     B- 32 Dominator     B- 35 Flying Wing     B- 36     B- 47 Stratojet     B- 50 Boeing     B- 52 Stratofortress     B- 57 Canberra     B- 58 Hustler     Biplanes     Biplanes, Army Pursuits     Bombers, B- 70 to Stealth     Bombers, First Big     Curtiss Falcon     CO- 1     DH- 4 De Havilland     F3D- Douglas Skyknight    F3H- McDonnell Demon    F4D- 1 Skyray    F4F Grumman Wildcats    F- 4U Corsair    F6F Grumman    F7F Grumman    F7U Vought    F9F G. Cougar    F9F G. Panther    F- 16 Fighting Falcon    F- 84     F- 86 Sabre    F- 89 to F-94    F- 100 to F-108    First Fighters    Flying Boats    GAX    Iraq to Afghanistan    Martin Bombers    Missile Era Fighters    Navy Fighers    Navy Flying Boats    O- 2 Douglas     P- 35 Seversky     P- 36 to 42 Curtiss     P- 38 Lightning    P- 39 Airacobra    P- 40 Line    P- 47 Thunderbolt    P- 51 Mustang Fighter    P- 61 Black Widow    P- 63 Kingcobra    P- 79 to P-81    P- 82 Twin Mustang    SB2C Helldiver    TBF-TBM Avenger    Thomas-Morse    Torpedo Planes    V- 11 Vultee    XB -28    XP -48 / 77   

A-20 Havoc


Page 2 DOUGLAS A-20

The 3rd Bombardment Group (Light) {formerly the 3rd Attack}, and the 27th Group was equipped with A-20As at their new Savannah base by April 1941. Hawaii and the Canal Zone got 12 each, while others were parceled out to the new Light Bombardment squadrons, the 15th at Lawson Field, the 46th at Bowman Field and the 48th at Will Rogers Field.

Sixty-three A-20 light bombers ordered the same day as the A-20As were to get R-2600-7 Cyclones turbosupercharged to give 1,700 hp at 20,000 feet. Those engines, however, delayed delivery and it was realized that high altitude performance (390 mph at 20,000 feet was promised) was of no value when the Norden bombsight supply was still limited to heavy bombers.

Turbosuperchargers were fitted to the 15th aircraft of the Douglas contract, which became the only actual pure A-20 tested. Since these components proved almost impossible to cool, the superchargers were deleted from the program and that A-20 became the XP-70 night fighter prototype. DOUGLAS A-20B

Sixty-two A-20 airframes rested empty in the Douglas yard awaiting the equipment to convert three into YF-3 photographic planes as ordered May 11, 1940. The rest were considered for target towing, until assigned to the P-70 program by an October 15, 1941, order.


Previously, the Photographic designation had denoted stock civilian cabin planes modified as the Fairchild F-l and Beechcraft F-2 types used by the photographic mapping unit. In 1941, F became the code for camera-equipped combat planes intended to penetrate hostile airspace. Three YF-3s delivered in April 1942 were modified with R-2600-11 Cyclones, fuel tanks enlarged to carry 480 to 600 gallons, and tandem T-3A cameras.

Proposed armament consisted of seven .30-caliber guns: two fixed in the nose, two flexible top and one flexible tunnel weapons, with another fixed gun pointing from the rear of each engine nacelle. Fire from the nacelle guns converged about 100 yards behind the tail, and this rather uncertain defense was also planned for the A-20B series, but was not used on most production aircraft. DOUGLAS DB-7B (BOSTON III)

On February 20, 1940, Britain had ordered the DB-7B version, similar in appearance to the A-20A but with R-2600-A5B Cyclones, armor and leak-proof fuel tanks, seven British .303-caliber guns, and four 500-pound bombs. The first was flown January 10, 1941, and 541 were delivered from April 4 to November 19, 1941. Boeing also received a French order for 240 bombers on May 18, 1940, which were accepted as DB-7Bs from August 1941 to January 1942.

The United Kingdom received 325 of these DB-7Bs including 35 built by Boeing, another 116 were shipped to the Middle East, and 16 were lost in transit. Known as the Boston III, they replaced Blenheims in five RAF bomber squadrons and first sortied against the enemy in occupied France on February 12, 1942. Three night intruder squadrons received Bostons with four 20-mm guns in a tray under the fuselage, and several Boston IIIs were modified for the Turbinlite units. DOUGLAS A-20B

One DB-7B for Brazil left on November 2, 1941, and the first four DB-7Bs for the Soviet Union were shipped on November 28, but others were diverted after the United States entered the war in December, when the USAF requisitioned 81 Douglas-built and 132 Boeing-built DB-7Bs.

Another 33 DB-7Bs had been allocated to the Chinese Air Force, but these were diverted to the Dutch East Indies, where six arrived on February 27, 1942. Java fell before they could be used, but one was captured and flown in Japan, and 22 others joined the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). DOUGLAS A-20B

The Dutch had ordered 48 DB-7Cs, similar but for adding torpedo gear, on October 16, 1941, although they were not ready until July 1942. Except for one sent to Newport, Rhode Island, for torpedo tests by the U.S. Navy, they went to Soviet naval air units.

On October 11, 1940, the AAF ordered 999 A-20Bs and 775 O-53 reconnaissance versions. The O-53s were canceled in June 1942, but the A-20Bs were delivered at the new Douglas Long Beach plant between December 1941 and January 1943. Eight went to the U.S. Navy as the BD-2 in May 1942, while Russia got 665 on lend-lease.

The A-20B had R-2600-11 engines with ejection stacks, armor, leak proof tanks, two .50-caliber fixed nose guns, one .50-caliber flexible upper gun, a .30-caliber tunnel gun, and the stepped nose enclosure used on the French DB-7s. Provision was made to increase fuel capacity for transoceanic ferry to 1,094 gallons internal overload, or 1,479 gallons with a belly tank.


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