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World War II
Discuss WWII and the era directly before and after the war from 1935-1949.
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MUSEUM
Unloading on the Atlantic Wall
Merlin
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Posted: Friday, June 21, 2013 - 07:19 PM UTC
Bill Cross has sent us photos of the B-26 replica at the Utah Beach Museum.

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If you have comments or questions please post them here.

Thanks!
ogre1164
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Posted: Saturday, June 22, 2013 - 02:39 AM UTC
How is that thing a replica??? Sure looks like an actual B-26 to me.
JPTRR
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Posted: Saturday, June 22, 2013 - 05:05 AM UTC
Bill,

Congratulations for your son's accomplishment. Happy for your & his adventure together - memories for a lifetime!

Great series of museums.
ludwig113
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Posted: Saturday, June 22, 2013 - 06:16 AM UTC
nice, i'm over there next month, i may pop in at some point.

paul
Merlin
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Posted: Saturday, June 22, 2013 - 08:10 AM UTC

Quoted Text

How is that thing a replica??? Sure looks like an actual B-26 to me.



Hi Dan

Me too. I've found one ref on the Net saying it's the real thing - but that's outnumbered about 10:1 by links to it being a replica. It looks amazing, so I'd love to know the whole story...

All the best

Rowan
Siderius
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Posted: Saturday, June 22, 2013 - 03:24 PM UTC
A great trip for you and your son Bill! The much maligned Marauder was a great machine, once mastered by its crews, this bomber from Martin had one of the lowest loss rates of any bomber in theater, if memory serves. A magnificent replica. Russell
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Posted: Sunday, June 23, 2013 - 11:25 PM UTC
Nice pics bill. Its a verry impressive museum. i visited it myself after the Reopening during the D-day memorials in 2012. Did you also visit the Winters memorial down the road?

About the B-26, It is the real deal. It is a B-26G. with tailnumber 44-68219. It used to be in the Le Bourget museum in Paris. In colors of the French airforce. it has been Repainted to act as a B-26B tailnumber 41-31576 ’Dinah Might’ of the 553th Bomb Squadron, 386th Bomb Group In wich Col. Dewhurst had flown.

The real plane was lost 18th November 1944 on a mission to the German city of St. Wendel. That day the plane was not flwon by Dewhurst but a other crew wich parachuted out safely.
bill_c
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Posted: Monday, June 24, 2013 - 09:41 AM UTC
Wow, lots of great replies. Let me try to answer them.

Leon, I think by "replica" the meaning is that this isn't "Dinah Might," but another plane painted in DM's camo scheme. It's a real B-26, but it might be a whole other plane or even a restored airframe with many refashioned parts. The new Dornier-17 "flying pencil" they just raised from the Channel is mostly just scrap metal, so restoring it with custom-made parts will make it, what? A replica? The real thing? Some weird hybrid? It's rare we have the chance to see "the real deal" like the Enola Gay that was so important, the government crated it up and stored it more or less complete.

One of the facts I soon realized touring these sites is that weapons & vehicles in these museums in aren't always what they seem. The US M-1 Garands in the Bastogne Barracks, for example, are post-war or Korean versions according to my son who has inhaled the lore of that rifle. Or the 88mm FlaK gun at "Dead Man's Corner" nearby to the Utah Beach Museum outside Carentan. Is it a German Flak 37 or a Spanish-made Trubia built in Spain under license? Or a composite? Our notions about what is "authentic" and what is a replica go far beyond just paint schemes.

There was enough surplus stuff after WW2 to equip several armies, and for 20 years, the residents of Normandy more or less just wanted to get on with their lives, so they didn't begin to save things and set aside museums until tourists started making D-Day trips there. So now if you wanted a Pz. IV or a DD-Sherman, you would probably have to convert whatever you could find on the surplus vehicle market and modify it to recreate something that has been lost. Does that make the resulting tank or airplane a "replica" or an "original"?

Fred, thanks for the good wishes. I owe you a review of Der Massstab but have been catching up since the trip. It will be good to have my son working and off my "payroll."

Paul, the Utah Beach Museum is the best I saw in Normandy (better than the Airborne Museum at St. Mere Eglise or the Omaha Beach Museum). Have lunch at the Teddy Roosevelt, Jr. Cafe outside. Omaha Beach's museum is planning a major expansion to house new vehicles, but that's a ways off.

Russell, thanks, it was a GREAT trip.