Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Douglas DB-7

Douglas DB-7

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Douglas DB-7'
Start a new discussion about 'Douglas DB-7'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia

The Douglas
Douglas Aircraft Company
The Douglas Aircraft Company was an American aerospace manufacturer, based in Long Beach, California. It was founded in 1921 by Donald Wills Douglas, Sr. and later merged with McDonnell Aircraft in 1967 to form McDonnell Douglas...

 A-20/DB-7 Havoc
was a family of American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 attack, light bomber and night fighter aircraft of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, that served with several Allied air forces, principally those of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, and United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. The DB-7 was also used by the air forces of Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, and the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 during the war, and Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 afterwards. The bomber aircraft was known as Boston among British and Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 air forces, while the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 night fighter variants were given the service name Havoc. The United States Army Air Forces
United States Army Air Forces
The United States Army Air Forces was the military aviation arm of the United States of America during and immediately after World War II, and the direct predecessor of the United States Air Force....

 assigned the DB-7 the designation "A-20" and gave it the popular name "Havoc".

Design and development


In March 1937, a design team headed by Donald Douglas
Donald Douglas
Donald Douglas may refer to:*Donald Wills Douglas, Sr. , founder of Douglas Aircraft Company*Donald Wills Douglas, Jr. , son of the founder and later president of the company*Donald Douglas , film and television actor...

, Jack Northrop and Ed Heinemann
Ed Heinemann
Edward Henry Heinemann, was a noted military aircraft designer for Douglas Aircraft Company.-Biography:...

 produced a proposal for a light bomber powered by a pair of 450 hp (336 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-985
Pratt & Whitney R-985
The Pratt & Whitney R-985 Wasp Junior is a series of nine-cylinder air-cooled radial aircraft engines built by the Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Company from the 1930s to the 1950s. These engines have a displacement of ; initial versions produced , while the most widely used versions produce...

 Wasp Junior engines
Radial engine
The radial engine is a reciprocating type internal combustion engine configuration in which the cylinders point outward from a central crankshaft like the spokes on a wheel...

 mounted on a high-mounted wing. It was estimated it could have carried a 1,000 lb (454 kg) bomb load at 250 mph (400 km/h). Reports of aircraft performance from the Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil WarAlso known as The Crusade among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War among Carlists, and The Rebellion or Uprising among Republicans. was a major conflict fought in Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939...

 indicated that this design would be seriously underpowered, and it was subsequently cancelled.

In the autumn of the same year, the United States Army Air Corps
United States Army Air Corps
The United States Army Air Corps was a forerunner of the United States Air Force. Renamed from the Air Service on 2 July 1926, it was part of the United States Army and the predecessor of the United States Army Air Forces , established in 1941...

 issued its own specification for an attack aircraft. The Douglas team, now headed by Heinemann, took the Model 7A design, upgraded to 1,100 hp (820 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-1830 S3C3-G Twin Wasp engines, and submitted the design as the Model 7B. It faced competition from the North American NA-40
B-25 Mitchell
The North American B-25 Mitchell was an American twin-engined medium bomber manufactured by North American Aviation. It was used by many Allied air forces, in every theater of World War II, as well as many other air forces after the war ended, and saw service across four decades.The B-25 was named...

, the Stearman X-100
Stearman A-21
The Stearman Model X-100 was a competitor in an United States Army Air Corps competition for a twin-engined attack aircraft which led to the Douglas A-20 Havoc, Martin A-22 Maryland and North American B-25 Mitchell.-Design and development:...

 and the Martin 167F
A-22 Maryland
|-See also:-References:NotesBibliography* Bishop, Chris. The Encyclopedia Of 20th Century Air Warfare. London: Amber Books Ltd, 2004. ISBN 1-90468-726-1....

. The Model 7B was maneuverable and fast, but did not attract any US orders.

The model did, however, attract the attention of a French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 Purchasing Commission visiting the USA. The Neutrality Act of 1935 at the time forbade the sale of arms, including aircraft, to any nation at war, and President Roosevelt had just issued a call both for its revision and a rearmament program for the Air Corps. Aided by the Treasury Department
United States Department of the Treasury
The Department of the Treasury is an executive department and the treasury of the United States federal government. It was established by an Act of Congress in 1789 to manage government revenue...

's Procurement Division (headed by retired Naval officers) and Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, Jr.
Henry Morgenthau, Jr.
Henry Morgenthau, Jr. was the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury during the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt. He played a major role in designing and financing the New Deal...

, the French discreetly participated in the flight trials, so as not to attract criticism from U.S. isolationists
Isolationism
Isolationism is the policy or doctrine of isolating one's country from the affairs of other nations by declining to enter into alliances, foreign economic commitments, international agreements, etc., seeking to devote the entire efforts of one's country to its own advancement and remain at peace by...

. The Air Corps, which controlled the aircraft's development but had been excluded from negotiations between the French, the Production Division, and the Navy's Bureau of Aeronautics, was directed by the White House on 19 January 1939 to release the DB-7 for assessment in contradiction of its own regulations. The "secret" was blown when the Model 7B crashed on 23 January while demonstrating single-engine performance. The French were still impressed enough to order 100 production aircraft, with the order increased to 270 when the war began. Sixteen of those had been ordered by Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

 for its Aviation Militaire
Belgian Air Force
The Air Component, formerly the Belgian Air Force, is the air arm of the Belgian Armed Forces. Originally founded in 1909, it is one of the world's first air forces, and was a pioneer in aerial combat during the First World War...

.

Although not the fastest or longest-ranged in its class, the Douglas DB-7 series distinguished itself as a tough, dependable combat aircraft with an excellent reputation due to its speed and maneuverability. In a report to the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment
Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment
The Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment was a research facility for British military aviation from 1918 to 1992.-History:...

 (AAEE) at RAF Boscombe Down, test pilots summed it up as "has no vices and is very easy to takeoff and land... The aeroplane represents a definite advantage in the design of flying controls... extremely pleasant to fly and manoeuvre." Ex-pilots often consider it their favorite aircraft of the war due to the ability to toss it around like a fighter. Its true impact was that the Douglas bomber/night fighter was extremely adaptable and found a role in every combat theater of the war and excelled as a true "pilot's aeroplane."

When DB-7 series production finally ended on 20 September 1944, a total of 7,098 had been built by Douglas and a further 380 by Boeing
Boeing
The Boeing Company is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation, founded in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington. Boeing has expanded over the years, merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing Corporate headquarters has been in Chicago, Illinois since 2001...

.

Operational history



France
The French order called for substantial modifications, resulting in the DB-7 (for Douglas Bomber 7) variant. It had a narrower, deeper fuselage
Fuselage
The fuselage is an aircraft's main body section that holds crew and passengers or cargo. In single-engine aircraft it will usually contain an engine, although in some amphibious aircraft the single engine is mounted on a pylon attached to the fuselage which in turn is used as a floating hull...

, 1,000 hp (746 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-1830-SC3-G radials, French-built guns, and metric instruments. Midway through the delivery phase, engines were switched to 1,100 hp (820 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-1830-S3C4-G. The French designation was DB-7 B-3 (the B-3 signifying "three-seat bomber").

The DB-7s were shipped in sections to Casablanca
Casablanca
Casablanca is a city in western Morocco, located on the Atlantic Ocean. It is the capital of the Grand Casablanca region.Casablanca is Morocco's largest city as well as its chief port. It is also the biggest city in the Maghreb. The 2004 census recorded a population of 2,949,805 in the prefecture...

 for assembly and service in France and French North Africa. When the Germans attacked France and the Low Countries
Battle of France
In the Second World War, the Battle of France was the German invasion of France and the Low Countries, beginning on 10 May 1940, which ended the Phoney War. The battle consisted of two main operations. In the first, Fall Gelb , German armoured units pushed through the Ardennes, to cut off and...

 on 10 May 1940, the 64 available DB-7s were deployed against the advancing Panzer
Panzer
A Panzer is a German language word that, when used as a noun, means "tank". When it is used as an adjective, it means either tank or "armoured" .- Etymology :...

s. Before the armistice
Armistice with France (Second Compiègne)
The Second Armistice at Compiègne was signed at 18:50 on 22 June 1940 near Compiègne, in the department of Oise, between Nazi Germany and France...

 they were evacuated to North Africa to avoid capture by German forces. Here, they fell under control of the Vichy government
Vichy France
Vichy France, Vichy Regime, or Vichy Government, are common terms used to describe the government of France that collaborated with the Axis powers from July 1940 to August 1944. This government succeeded the Third Republic and preceded the Provisional Government of the French Republic...

, but saw practically no action against the Allies except briefly during the Allied invasion of North Africa
Operation Torch
Operation Torch was the British-American invasion of French North Africa in World War II during the North African Campaign, started on 8 November 1942....

. After French forces in North Africa had sided with the Allies, DB-7s were used as trainers and were replaced in front line units by Martin B-26 Marauders. In early 1945, a few DB-7s were sent back to France where they saw action against the remaining isolated German pockets on the Western coast.

British Commonwealth
The remainder of the order which was to have been delivered to France was instead taken up by the UK. In the course of the war, 24 squadrons would operate the Boston. It first entered service with RAF Bomber Command in 1941 equipping No. 88 Squadron. Their first operational use was not until February 1942 against enemy shipping. On the 4th of July 1942 United States Army Air Force (USAAF) bomber crews, flying RAF Boston aircraft, took part in operations in Europe for the first time attacking enemy airfields in Holland . They replaced the Bristol Blenheim
Bristol Blenheim
The Bristol Blenheim was a British light bomber aircraft designed and built by the Bristol Aeroplane Company that was used extensively in the early days of the Second World War. It was adapted as an interim long-range and night fighter, pending the availability of the Beaufighter...

s of No. 2 Group RAF
No. 2 Group RAF
Number 2 Group is a Group of the Royal Air Force which was first activated in 1918, served from 1918–20, from 1936 through the Second World War to 1947, from 1948 to 1958, from 1993 to 1996, was reactivated in 2000, and is today part of Air Command....

 for daylight operations against occupied Europe until replaced in turn by de Havilland Mosquito
De Havilland Mosquito
The de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito was a British multi-role combat aircraft that served during the Second World War and the postwar era. It was known affectionately as the "Mossie" to its crews and was also nicknamed "The Wooden Wonder"...

s.
Some Havocs were converted to Turbinlite
Turbinlite
The Helmore/GEC Turbinlite was a 2,700 million candela searchlight fitted in the nose of a number of British Douglas Havoc night fighters during the early part of the Second World War and around the time of The Blitz....

 aircraft which replaced the nose position with a powerful searchlight. The Turbinlite aircraft would be brought onto an enemy fighter by ground radar control. The onboard radar operator would then direct the pilot until he could illuminate the enemy. At that point a Hawker Hurricane
Hawker Hurricane
The Hawker Hurricane is a British single-seat fighter aircraft that was designed and predominantly built by Hawker Aircraft Ltd for the Royal Air Force...

 fighter accompanying the Turbinlite aircraft would make the attack. The Turbinlite squadrons were disbanded in early 1943

Soviet
Through Lend-Lease
Lend-Lease
Lend-Lease was the program under which the United States of America supplied the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, China, Free France, and other Allied nations with materiel between 1941 and 1945. It was signed into law on March 11, 1941, a year and a half after the outbreak of war in Europe in...

, Soviet forces received more than two-thirds of A-20B models manufactured and a significant portion of versions G and H. These aircraft were armed with fixed-forward cannons and found success in the ground attack role.

Variants


Boston I & II: The Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 agreed to take up the balance of the now-frustrated French order which was diverted to Britain, and the aircraft were given the service name Boston with the further designation of "Mark I" or "Mark II" according to the earlier or later engine type.
Havoc I: The aircraft was generally unsuited for RAF use as its range was too limited for daylight raids on Germany. Many of the Boston Mk II, plus some re-engined Mk Is, were converted for night time duties - either as intruders with 2,400 lb (1,100 kg) bombs, or as night-fighters with AI Mk IV radar
Radar
Radar is an object-detection system which uses radio waves to determine the range, altitude, direction, or speed of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor vehicles, weather formations, and terrain. The radar dish or antenna transmits pulses of radio...

. These were known collectively as Havoc Mk I. A total of 181 Bostons were converted to Havocs. In interdiction raids, Havoc intruders caused considerable damage to German targets.
Havoc-Pandora: Twenty Havocs were converted into intruder aircraft, utilizing the Long Aerial Mine (LAM), an explosive charge trailed on a long cable in the path of enemy aircraft in the hope of scoring a hit. Trials conducted with lone Handley Page Harrow
Handley Page H.P.54 Harrow
|-See also:-Bibliography:* Barnes, C.H. Handley Page Aircraft since 1907. London: Putnam Publishing, 1987. ISBN 0-85177-803-8.* Clayton, Donald C. Handley Page, an Aircraft Album. Shepperton, Surrey, UK: Ian Allan Ltd., 1969. ISBN 0-7110-0094-8....

s dropping LAMs into the stream of German bombers were not successful, consequently, the Havocs were converted back to Mk I intruders.
Havoc I Turbinlite
Turbinlite
The Helmore/GEC Turbinlite was a 2,700 million candela searchlight fitted in the nose of a number of British Douglas Havoc night fighters during the early part of the Second World War and around the time of The Blitz....

Havoc fitted with a 2,700 million candela
Candela
The candela is the SI base unit of luminous intensity; that is, power emitted by a light source in a particular direction, weighted by the luminosity function . A common candle emits light with a luminous intensity of roughly one candela...

 (2.7 Gcd) searchlight in the nose; the batteries carried in the bomb bay. A radar operator sat in the after fuselage. They were unarmed and were supposed to illuminate targets for accompanying Hurricane
Hawker Hurricane
The Hawker Hurricane is a British single-seat fighter aircraft that was designed and predominantly built by Hawker Aircraft Ltd for the Royal Air Force...

 fighters, but in practice the conspicuous light made them ready targets for German gunners. 31 conversions.

DB-7A / Havoc II
The French Purchasing Commission ordered a further 200 bombers, to be fitted with 1,600 hp (1,195 kW) Wright R-2600
Wright R-2600
|-See also:-Bibliography:* Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II. London. Studio Editions Ltd, 1998. ISBN 0-517-67964-7-External links:...

-A5B Twin Cyclone engines. This variant was designated DB-7A by Douglas. None had been delivered before the fall of France and were sent to the UK instead. They were converted into night fighters by the addition of 12 0.303 machine guns in the nose and extra fuel tanks. They had an impressive top speed of 344 mph (550 km/h) at altitude. A total of 39 were used briefly in Turbinlite
Turbinlite
The Helmore/GEC Turbinlite was a 2,700 million candela searchlight fitted in the nose of a number of British Douglas Havoc night fighters during the early part of the Second World War and around the time of The Blitz....

 roles.

DB-7B / Boston III: The DB-7B was the first batch of the series to actually be ordered by Britain, in February 1940. Powered by the same engines as the DB-7A, with better armor
Vehicle armour
Military vehicles are commonly armoured to withstand the impact of shrapnel, bullets, missiles, or shells, protecting the personnel inside from enemy fire. Such vehicles include tanks, aircraft, and ships....

 and, crucially, larger fuel tanks, these were at last suitable for British use in the light bomber role. This was the batch for which the name "Boston" was first reserved, but since the commandeered DB-7s entered service first, this batch became known as the Boston Mk III. Amongst other operations, they took part in the attacks on the Scharnhorst
German battleship Scharnhorst
Scharnhorst was a German capital ship, alternatively described as a battleship and battlecruiser, of the German Kriegsmarine. She was the lead ship of her class, which included one other ship, Gneisenau. The ship was built at the Kriegsmarinewerft dockyard in Wilhelmshaven; she was laid down on 15...

, Gneisenau
German battleship Gneisenau
Gneisenau was a German capital ship, alternatively described as a battleship and battlecruiser, of the German Kriegsmarine. She was the second vessel of her class, which included one other ship, Scharnhorst. The ship was built at the Deutsche Werke dockyard in Kiel; she was laid down on 6 May 1935...

 and Prinz Eugen
German cruiser Prinz Eugen
Prinz Eugen was an Admiral Hipper-class heavy cruiser, the third member of the class of five vessels. She served with the German Kriegsmarine during World War II. The ship was laid down in April 1936 and launched August 1938; Prinz Eugen entered service after the outbreak of war, in August 1940...

 during their dash through the English Channel (Operation Cerberus) and the infamous raid on Dieppe
Dieppe Raid
The Dieppe Raid, also known as the Battle of Dieppe, Operation Rutter or later on Operation Jubilee, during the Second World War, was an Allied attack on the German-occupied port of Dieppe on the northern coast of France on 19 August 1942. The assault began at 5:00 AM and by 10:50 AM the Allied...

 (Operation Jubilee). Three hundred were delivered and some were converted for use in intruder and night fighter roles.
DB-73: A French variant very similar to BD-7B, which again were diverted to England as Boston Mk IIIs. Many of these were built under licence by Boeing
Boeing
The Boeing Company is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation, founded in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington. Boeing has expanded over the years, merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing Corporate headquarters has been in Chicago, Illinois since 2001...

. Events further overtook this shipment after the German attack
Operation Barbarossa
Operation Barbarossa was the code name for Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II that began on 22 June 1941. Over 4.5 million troops of the Axis powers invaded the USSR along a front., the largest invasion in the history of warfare...

 on the Soviet Union and the Attack on Pearl Harbor
Attack on Pearl Harbor
The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941...

, when many Bostons were sent to the USSR and many more retained by the USAAF for its own use. Twenty-two were also sent to the RAAF by the British.
DB-7C: A Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 variant intended for service in the Netherlands East Indies, but the Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

ese invasion was complete before they were delivered. Part of this order was stranded in Australia on the so-called "lost convoy" and the first 31 Bostons were assembled at Richmond Airbase (NSW) and operated by 22 Squadron
No. 22 Squadron RAAF
No. 22 Squadron is a Royal Australian Air Force mixed regular and reserve squadron that provides support for the RAAF in the Sydney region. Formed in 1936, the squadron served in Papua New Guinea during the Second World War, and later followed the Pacific war as far as the Philippines...

 during the campaign against Buna/Gona and Lau on New Guinea. The assembly of these 31 was hampered by the manuals and instrument panels being completely in Dutch. The remaining aircraft in this order were sent to the Soviet Union under Lend-Lease
Lend-Lease
Lend-Lease was the program under which the United States of America supplied the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, China, Free France, and other Allied nations with materiel between 1941 and 1945. It was signed into law on March 11, 1941, a year and a half after the outbreak of war in Europe in...

 which would receive 3,125 examples of different variants of the Douglas DB-7 series.
When shipments to the UK finally resumed, they were delivered under the terms of Lend-Lease. These aircraft were actually refitted A-20Cs known as the Boston IIIA.

A-20: The original American indifference to the Model 7B was overcome by the improvements made for the French and British, and the Army Air Corps
United States Army Air Corps
The United States Army Air Corps was a forerunner of the United States Air Force. Renamed from the Air Service on 2 July 1926, it was part of the United States Army and the predecessor of the United States Army Air Forces , established in 1941...

 ordered two models, the A-20 for high-altitude bombing and the A-20A for lower-altitude work. Both were similar to the DB-7B, the A-20 was to be fitted with turbosupercharged Wright R-2600-7 engines, but these were bulky and the prototype suffered cooling problems, so the remainder were completed with the two stage supercharged R-2600-11, 59 as P-70 fighters and 3 as F-3 reconnaissance aircraft.

One A-20 was evaluated by the US Navy as the BD-1, while the US Marine Corps operated eight examples as the BD-2.
A-20A: The U.S. Army ordered 123 A-20As with R-2600-3 engines, and a further 20 with more powerful R-2600-11. They entered service in the spring 1941. The Army liked the A-20A because of its excellent performance and because it had no adverse handling characteristics. Nine of them were transferred to Australia in 1943. The British name "Havoc" was adopted for the A-20A.
A-20B: The A-20B received the first really large order from the US Army Air Corps: 999 aircraft. They resembled the DB-7A rather than the DB-7B, with light armor and stepped rather than slanted glazing in the nose. In fact, 665 were exported to the Soviets, so relatively few actually served with the USAAC.
A-20C: The A-20C was an attempt to standardize a common British and American version, produced from 1941. It reverted to the slanting nose-glass and had RF-2600-23 engines, self-sealing fuel tank
Self-sealing fuel tank
In aviation, self-sealing fuel tank is a fuel tank technology in wide use since World War II that prevents fuel tanks primarily on aircraft from leaking fuel and igniting after being damaged by enemy fire....

s and additional armor. They were equipped to carry an external 2,000 lb (907 kg) naval torpedo. A total of 948 were built for Britain and the Soviet Union, but many were retained by the USAAF after Pearl Harbor. The Soviet A-20s were often fitted out with turrets of indigenous design.
A-20G: The A-20G, delivered from February 1943, would be the most produced of all the series - 2850 were built. The glazed nose was replaced by a solid nose containing four 20 mm (.79 in) Hispano cannons and two .50 in M2 Browning machine guns, making the aircraft slightly longer than previous versions. After the first batch of 250, the unreliable cannon were replaced by more machine guns. Some had a wider fuselage to accommodate a power driven gun turret. Many A-20Gs were delivered to the Soviet Union. The powerplant was the 1,600 hp (1,200 kW) R-2600-23. US A-20Gs were used on low-level sorties in the New Guinea
New Guinea
New Guinea is the world's second largest island, after Greenland, covering a land area of 786,000 km2. Located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, it lies geographically to the east of the Malay Archipelago, with which it is sometimes included as part of a greater Indo-Australian Archipelago...

 theatre.
A-20H: The A-20H was the same as A-20G, continued with the 1,700 hp (1,270 kW) R-2600-29. 412 of these were built. The takeoff weight was raised to 24,170 lb (10,960 kg).
ZB-20H: In 1948, the last surviving A-20H in United States service was redesignated "B-20" with the elimination of the 'A for Attack' category, and was given the 'Z' prefix as being obsolete.
A-20J / Boston IV: The A-20J carried an additional bombardier in an extended acrylic glass
Acrylic glass
Poly is a transparent thermoplastic, often used as a light or shatter-resistant alternative to glass. It is sometimes called acrylic glass. Chemically, it is the synthetic polymer of methyl methacrylate...

 nose section. These were intended to lead bombing formations, with the following standard A-20s dropping their bombs when signaled by the leader. A total of 450 were built, 169 for the RAF which designated them Boston Mk IV from the summer of 1944 onwards.
A-20K / Boston V: The A-20K (Boston Mk V in RAF parlance) was the final production version of the A-20 series, the same as the A-20J except for R-2600-29s instead of -23s.
P-70: In October 1940, the USAAC felt a need for long-range fighters more than attack bombers, so some of the production run of A-20s were converted to P-70 and P-70A night-fighters. They were equipped with SCR-540 radar (a copy of British AI Mk IV), the glazed nose often painted black to reduce glare and hide the details of the radar set, and had four 20 mm (.79 in) forward-firing cannon in a ventral bomb bay tray. Further P-70 variants were produced from A-20C, G and J variants. The singular airframe P-70B-1 (converted from an A-20G) and subsequent P-70B-2s (converted from A-20Gs and Js) had American centimetric radar (SCR-720 or SCR-729) fitted. The P-70s and P-70As saw combat only in the Pacific during World War II and only with the USAAF. The P-70B-1 and P-70B-2 aircraft never saw combat but served as night fighter aircrew trainers in the US in Florida and later in California. All P-70s were retired from service by 1945.
F-3A: The F-3A was a conversion of 46 A-20J and K models for night-time photographic reconnaissance (F-3 were a few conversions of the original A-20). This variant was employed in the European Theater by the 155th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron which began its deployment as the 423rd Night Fighter Squadron. The 423rd was converted to its photo mission as the 155th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron in part because of knowledge of night fighter tactics which could be used to defend against German aircraft. Although the armament was removed, the crew of three was retained, consisting of a pilot, observer, and navigator. The first Allied aircraft to land at Itazuke, Japan after the August 1945 surrender was an F-3A.
BD-1
One A-20A was bought in 1940 by the United States Navy for evaluation for use by the United States Marine Corps. The Navy/Marine Corps did not have any priority on the production lines, so the DB was not put into service.

BD-2
In 1942, eight former Army A-20Bs were diverted to the United States Navy for use as high-speed target tugs. Despite the addition of the target-towing equipment and the removal of all armament and the provision to carry bombs, the aircraft were still designated BD in the Bomber sequence. They were withdrawn from service in 1946.

O-53
An observation/reconnaissance version of the A-20B powered by two 1,700 hp (1,268 kW) R-2600-7 engines. The original order for 1,489 aircraft was canceled and none were built.

Operators



(NATO reporting name
NATO reporting name
NATO reporting names are classified code names for military equipment of the Eastern Bloc...

 "Box")

Survivors



A small number of surviving airframes exist both in flyable and static display condition in museum collections worldwide.

Specifications (DB-7B, Boston Mk III)


Notable appearances in media


The Way to the Stars
The Way to the Stars
The Way to the Stars, also known as Johnny in the Clouds, is a 1945 British war drama film made by Two Cities Films and released by United Artists. It was produced by Anatole de Grunwald and directed by Anthony Asquith...

, also known as Johnny in the Clouds, is a 1945 war drama film made by Two Cities Films and released by United Artists, that prominently features RAF Bostons.

See also



External links