Monday, July 29, 2013

A-26 Tanker Series -- Acknowledgements

Before I go any further in writing about the Douglas A-26’s service as a tanker, I want to thank the fellow who put together what I’ll call the napoleon130 A-26 Invader website, with a section on the A-26’s service as a tanker. After I begun reading up on the A-26 Invader a few months ago, it did not take long before a few of my friends in the tanker business, both in the U.S. and Canada sent me the link to this site. I have spent hours on this site at various times over the last few months and I found this site to be a treasure trove of information on the A-26 Invader’s service as a tanker. I can’t possibly due this site justice here, so I encourage those of you who are interested to check out napoleon130 A-26 invader tanker site. I will be linking to selected pages from this site, as appropriate later in this series. 


I got my first taste of the A-26’s service as a tanker in Canada from Linc Alexander’s Fire Bomber into Hell, he flew A-26 tankers first for Kenting Air and later for Conair. Allan MacNutt wrote a book called Altimeter Rising about his 50 years as a pilot, including working at both Conair and Air Spray in Canada flying tankers. Allan flew the A-26 for both Conair and Air Spray.

For a historical point of view, Frederick A. Johnsen put together a videobook (book and video DVD) called Fire Bombers in Action. Frederick provides a history of the history of fire bomber aircraft including an appendix with tanker call signs and registrations by aircraft type. I have found this book an invaluable reference in researching historical tankers including but not limited to the A-26 Invader. Finally, about three years ago, a friend sent me a copy of an article from the American Aviation Historical Society (AAHS) Journal (Vol. 9#3, Fall 1964) called “Forest Fire Air Attack System” by William T. Larkins. Larkins wrote a great piece on firebombing and air attack of the period and is a great history of the early days of firebombing in the U.S. 

Finally, saving the best for last, I need to acknowledge the help of some new friends who flew the A-26 tanker in Canada, without them, these articles would not be possible. Aviation Historian Tom Janney has also been very helpful.

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