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
United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and
Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian Institution Press, 1989.
McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Since 1920: Volume I, Rene J. Francillon,
Naval Institute Press, 1988.
American Combat Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Ray Wagner,
Foreign Invaders--The Douglas Invader in Foreign Military and US
Clandestine Service, Dan Hagedorn and Leif Hellstrom, Midland
Publishing, Ltd, 1994.