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In 1941 Douglas Aircraft Company began work on their twin-engine medium-bomber A-26 Invader. By the end of production there were 2,452 aircraft produced for all variants. The A- 26/B-26 was the only U.S. bomber to take part in three wars, WWII, Korea and Vietnam. The confusion with the use of the designation B-26 began when the Martin B-26 Marauder was retired and in 1948 the USAF dropped the “A” (Attack) designator so the Douglas A-26 Invader became the B-26 Invader. The A-26 made its first European appearance in late 1944.
The 416th BG was equipped with A-20 Havoc aircraft until November 1944 when they converted to the Douglas A-26 Invader. Throughout December 1944 and January 1945 the group took part in the Battle of the Bulge and from March to May 1945 they bombed flak positions to aide Allied airborne troops in their assault across the Rhine. The 416th was stationed in various locations in France throughout 1944 until October 1945 when they returned to the U.S..