A B-26G Marauder bomber, like those that flew over Normandy on D-Day, is sporting a meticulous new restoration paint job that honors one of its pilots, thanks in part to a donation by PPG Aerospace Coatings.
The Marauder was repainted in preparation for its relocation from the Museum of Air and Space at Le Bourget Airport, Paris, to the Musée du Débarquement Utah Beach in Sainte Marie du Mont, France, where it is on permanent display in a new hangar.
|A B-26G Marauder bomber has been restored for display at the D-Day Museum in Normandy, France. The airplane was painted to honor Maj. David Dewhurst Jr. for his heroism leading a squadron of B-26 Marauders on D-Day.|
B-26 Marauder bombers flew during the D-Day invasion of Normandy Beach during World War II.
The Colors of Service
The aircraft honors a B-26 flown by Maj. David Dewhurst Jr., father of Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.
PPG donated a wash primer, which was used to prepare the aircraft surface for primer application; and a primer and topcoat, which recreated the olive drab color and yellow markings of the original “Dinah Might” flown by Maj. Dewhurst.
A yellow stripe across the top of the tail identifies the aircraft as part of the U.S. Army Air Forces’ 386th Bombardment Group, while the letters “AN” on the rear of the fuselage signify the U.S. Army Air Forces’ 553rd Bombardment Squadron.
The letter “Z” on the fuselage aided identification in flight, according to the B-26 Marauder Historical Society. The serial number 41-31576 is painted on the tail, minus the “4” that started the sequence for all Marauders, according to the historical society.
The original B-26 flew 129 missions during the war before being lost Nov. 18, 1944, in a raid on a supply depot in St. Wendel, Germany, according to the historical society and the Military Air Crash Report 10462.
Bombs painted on the cockpit attribute 85 aerial missions over enemy territory to Maj. Dewhurst, who returned to the United States on Aug. 31, 1944. Lt. Gov. Dewhurst helped to fund the preservation effort after learning that his father had led a squadron of B-26 Marauders on D-Day.
The repainted B-26G Marauder originally was assigned to the Free French Air Force and was sent to France on May 21, 1945, according to the historical society.
‘Privileged to Participate’
PPG Aerospace offered to provide the coatings to help the museum preserve the legendary aircraft, said Pierre Reguer, a company sales representative in France.
“PPG Aerospace is privileged to participate in restoring this B-26 Marauder and in honoring one of the pilots who fought so valiantly on D-Day,” Reguer said.
Painting services were provided by the STTS Group, the largest specialist aerospace painting and sealing company in Europe. Founded in Toulouse, France, in 1986, STTS operates 35 industrial sites in six countries worldwide.