Douglas JD-1 Invader for US Navy

Last revised October 8, 2001

In 1945, the US Navy acquired one USAAF A-26B and one A-26C for testing. They were assigned the designation XJD-1 and were given the Bureau of Aeronautics numbers of 57990 (ex A-26B-45-DL 44-34217) and 57991 (ex A-26C-40-DT 44-35467).

Subsequently, in the immediate postwar years the Navy acquired 150 surplus A-26s for use by land-based utility squadrons as target tugs. Some of the early deliveries were from a batch of Invaders that had been ordered by the Royal Air Force but never delivered, but most of the planes were ex-USAAF Invaders from postwar stocks that were now deemed to be surplus to requirements.

The JD-1s were operated well into the 1960s by seven US Navy utility squadrons (VU-1, VU-2, VU-3, VU-4, VU-5, VU-7, and VU-10) as target tugs, drone directors, and general utility aircraft. Those that were modified as drone directors were redesignated JD-1D. As a teenager back in the 1950s, I remember seeing them operate from the Chincoteague Naval Air Station on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

In 1962, the surviving JD-1s were redesignated UB-26J in accordance with the new Tri-Service designation system. The JD-1D drone directors became DB-26J.

BuNos of Douglas JD-1 Invader:

57990			Douglas XJD-1 Invader - ex USAAF A-26B-45-DL 
				44-34217 transferred to Navy
57991			Douglas XJD-1 Invader - ex USAAF A-26C-40-DT 
				44-35467 transferred to Navy
77139/77224		Douglas JD-1 Invader 
				Surplus Army A-26Cs and undelivered RAF
				Invaders transferred to US Navy Aug/Sept 1945.
80621/80622		Douglas JD-1 Invader  
				Ex RAF A-26Cs (43/22749/KL690, 43-22482/KL691) 
				transferred to Navy in 1947.
140326/140377		Douglas JD-1 Invader 
				surplus Army A-26Cs transferred
				to Navy 


  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, 1994.

  5. E-mail from Tom Crosby, who was with VU-2 which operated JD-1s at NAS Quonset Point, RI from April 1958 to May 1962.

  6. E-mail from Bryand Fleming via Carl Pettypiece, indicating that JD-1s were also operated by VU-1 at NAS Barber Point/Pearl Harbor.

  7. E-mail from Bernie, who was with VU-2 at NAS Quonset Point, RI from Dec 1956 to Sept 1959. They had 14 JD-1s and JD-1Ds.