Hatch Instal - Escape Aft door Assembly, Martin B-26B-25-MA Marauder "Flak-Bait"

Project engineer Peyton M. Magruder designed the Glenn L. Martin Company's B-26 Marauder in response to an Army Air Corps specification issued in January 1939. This specification also caught the attention of North American Aviation, Inc., and that firm responded with the B-25. War fever caused the Air Corps to forego a prototype test stage and both bombers went from the drawing board straight into production. The consequences were deadly for men flying the Martin bomber. The Army threatened to withdraw the aircraft from combat, but Marauder crews stuck with their airplane. By war's end, they had lost fewer airplanes than almost any other combat unit and compiled a notable war record.

The NASM B-26B-25-MA nicknamed "Flak-Bait" (AAF serial number 41-31773) survived 207 operational missions over Europe, more than any other American aircraft during World War II (A de Havilland Mosquito B. Mk. IX bomber completed 213 missions but this aircraft was destroyed in a crash at Calgary Airport in Canada, two days after V-E Day, see NASM D. H. 98 Mosquito). Workers at the Baltimore factory completed "Flak-Bait" in April 1943, and a crew flew it to England. The AAF assigned it to the 449th Bombardment Squadron, 322nd Bombardment Group (nicknamed the 'Annihilators'), and gave the bomber the fuselage identification codes "PN-O." Lt. James J. Farrell of Greenwich, Connecticut, flew more missions in "Flak-Bait" than any other pilot. He named the bomber after "Flea Bait," his brother's nickname for the family dog.