Morale: Black Cats Get Their B-26


January 1, 2012: A Taiwan aviation museum is sending an American aviation museum two demilitarized F-5 jets in return for a World War II era B-26. The Taiwanese want a B-26 to put on display because the Taiwanese Air Force operated B-26s from 1958-74 to collect electronic intelligence (transmissions of radars and other electronics) off the Chinese coast. Fifteen of the Taiwanese B-26s were lost to accidents or Chinese gunfire. After the 35th "Black Cat" squadron was disbanded, all the remaining B-26s were scrapped before a museum could grab any.

Some 5,200 of these twin-engine, 17 ton bombers were built during World War II. Most were scrapped by the late 1940s. But hundreds remained in use for another decade or more.

The Black Cat squadron also operated 19 U-2 reconnaissance aircraft from 1959-74 and one of these aircraft is on display in Taiwan. Taiwanese U-2s flew 102 missions over China, North Korea, and North Vietnam. Five Taiwanese U-2s were shot down, three pilots were killed and two captured.



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