Warbird Showcase adds Martin B-26 machine gun turret

Warbird ShowcaseThe Capital Wing of the Commemorative Air Force will display an original Martin B-26 Marauder dorsal machine gun turret at the Warbird Showcase on July 11 at the Culpeper Regional Airport.

The twin engine B-26 a medium bomber that saw extensive service during World War II and was built in Baltimore, Maryland, by the Glenn L. Martin Company.

“The turret is historically significant since it was the first powered dorsal turret to be fitted to a U.S. bomber. A gunner manned the two .50 caliber M2 Browning machine guns. The powered turret was designed and built by Martin as a “drop in” unit and was hung from the upper fuselage” according to Pete Ballard, Assistant Adjutant of the Capital Wing. “The Martin powered turret was highly successful and used in a variety of aircraft including those produced by Consolidated and Lockheed,” he said.

For a small donation, kids and adults will be able to step inside the B-26 turret and “operate” the non-functional Browning machine guns.

There will be plenty of airplanes in the skies over the Culpeper Airport during the Warbird Showcase. Three WWII aircraft are scheduled to take the public on warbird rides throughout the day: a Stinson L-5 Sentinel forward air controller plane, a Boeing PT-17 Stearman biplane and a North American T-6/SNJ fighter trainer. Warbird rides start at just $69. Tickets can be purchased in advance by sending an email to CapitalWingCAF@gmail.com and asking for tickets. Ride tickets will also be sold on site the day of the event.

“Warbird Rides are really an opportunity for people to experience what those young men did during WWII,” said Ballard. “You get to sit in those seats of our nation’s heroes and think about the sights and the sounds and the smells and really take it in.”

The Capital Wing “Warbird Showcase” event will be held in accordance with coronavirus pandemic guidelines of the CDC, State of Virginia and local health authorities in effect at that time. This is a family-oriented event with something for everyone. Parking and attendance are free for the public, although a donation to the non-profit Capital Wing will be appreciated on entry. A food truck will be on site for lunch and refreshments.

Joining the Boeing Stearman for a “touch and go” demonstration on the runway at Noon will be a Fairchild UC-61 Forwarder – the first time two CAF WWII US Coast Guard airplanes have flown together.

There will be several other iconic WWII aircraft on display including a North American SNJ fighter trainer, a British Percival Provost, an Aeronca L-16, a North American T-28 and a General Motors TBM Avenger, the largest single-engine bomber of WWII.


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