Invader for the Royal Air Force

Last revised August 26, 2000


One of the very early Invaders (A-26B-15-DL 41-39158) that had been sent to Britain for service with the USAAF was tested by the Royal Air Force's Aeroplane & Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE) at Boscombe Down beginning in July of 1944. Following these tests, the Royal Air Force was allocated an initial batch of 140 A-26C-DTs. They were designated Invader I and were assigned RAF serials KL690/KL829. They were to go to the Mediterranean with 2 Group and would replace the Bostons of No 88 Squadron RAF as well as those of 342 Squadron of the Free French Air Force.

The RAF was anxious to try out the Invader as soon as possible, and two 8th Air Force A-26Cs were diverted to the RAF in December of 1944 for trials. The RAF serials TW222 and TW224 were allocated to the aircraft, but these numbers were not taken up and the numbers KL690 and KL691 were used instead.

In February of 1945, work began at Douglas on the initial batch of Invaders for the RAF. However, in April of 1945, with the end of the war in Europe not far away, the RAF decided to cancel its order for the Invader. However, by the time that word of the cancellation reached Douglas, 33 of the RAF Invaders had already been built. These planes were handed over to the US Navy as JD-1s in August-September 1945. The two Invaders that had already been delivered to Britain were returned to the USA before entering RAF service. These two planes eventually were transferred to the US Navy as JD-1 BuNo 80621 and 80622.

Sources:


  1. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian Institution Press, 1989.

  2. McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Since 1920: Volume I, Rene J. Francillon, Naval Institute Press, 1988.

  3. American Combat Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982.

  4. Foreign Invaders--The Douglas Invader in Foreign Military and US Clandestine Service, Dan Hagedorn and Leif Hellstrom, Midland Publishing, Ltd, 1994.