Lady Liberty, A-26B-20-DL, 41-39230
Quite a colorful past
Our A-26 is the oldest flying Invader. It was the 130th one produced, being accepted on 18 Aug, 1944, at Long Beach, California. It was flown to Great Dunmow, England on 20 Sep, 1944. It was immediately assigned to the 9th Air Force. The USAF Historical Squadron at Maxwell AFB does not have specific unit history of the aircraft. We have a letter written by a Colonel that says this aircraft was assigned to the 410th Bomb Group and began combat operations in early 1945. The 410th was initially assigned 4 A-26’s. Each squadron was given one aircraft. They were painted completely black and initially used as night interdiction aircraft ranging all over Germany. We still have patches in the tail that were attributed to encounters with German night fighters.
Our aircraft is currently painted in 13th Air Force markings although this aircraft never saw service in Korea.
After WWII it was flown to Hobbs, NM and stored. After some refurbishment it was assigned to an Air Force Reserve unit in Georgia for three years. The aircraft was declared surplus and sold in 1958. After serving as a radio research aircraft for Texas Instruments in Dallas it was sold to Bill Dempsey in Rantoul, Kansas and used as a fire bomber. Tanker 8 was rarely flown and was eventually sold. It was seized by DEA for drug running. The aircraft was purchased at auction and donated to the CAF. After some time with the Panhandle (Texas) Wing it was transferred to the Nevada wing in Las Vegas. After some restoration it was transferred to the A-26 Sponsorship Group and returned to flight status. In 1999 it was relocated to Oklahoma City. After additional maintenance it has been a regular on the airshow circuit. In 2011 The Lady was again relocated to Enid, Oklahoma where she enjoys a hanger of her own and a new maintenance crew that takes very good care of her.
We are currently the only operating airshow A-26 that is in stock configuration with operable bomb bay doors. At some time this aircraft was modified with a glass nose and dual controls. We are presently searching for additional original equipment to install. At every airshow we attend the aircraft is open for tours.