Fort Worth, TX
Operation: Western, Central and Eastern
Wing Span: 70' 0"
Length: 50' 9"
Height: 18' 6"
Max Speed: 365 mph
Gross Weight: 35,000 lbs
Power Plant: 2 x Pratt & Whitney
Horsepower: 2 x 2,000
Fuel Capacity: 800 gallons
Armament: 6 x 12.7mm (0.5 in.) machine
guns in nose, 2 x 12.7mm (0.5 in.) machine guns
each in ventral and dorsal turrets, 6,000 lbs of
bombs, Eight 127mm (5-inch) rockets.
Douglas A-26B Invader "Texas Special"
The Commemorative Air Force Invader Squadron is the owner and operator of
this Douglas A-26B Invader "Texas Special" (S/N
which is available for airshows, flybys and film
throughout the USA.
A-26B was built in 1943 it was the 328th A26B built
at the Douglas plant in Long Beach, Calif. It was
delivered to the USAAF on December 8, 1944 and given the
USAAF serial number of 41-39427. It served with the
following military units listed below:
127th base unit at Florence
S.C. - January 4, 1944 through November 13,
4160th base unit Air
Material Command at Hobbs Field N.M. -
November 13, 1945 through September 1948.
4127th base unit Air
Material Command at McLellan AFB in CA -
September 1948 to March 13, 1950.
The aircraft went through major modifications in
April of 1953 when the aircraft was completely
disassembled and all systems inspected and repaired or
overhauled. It was at this time the aircraft was
converted to an executive transport with many luxuries
and modifications being done to the aircraft by Grand
Central Aircraft Co. of Glendale, California.
Barnwell Drilling Company of Shreveport, LA bought
the A-26 on December 30, 1961 and made further
modifications to enhance the executive transport role.
During this time period, 1952-1967, the A-26 received
best of care and maintenance from Barnwell and Texas
Railway Equip Co. It is said that former Presidents
Lyndon B. Johnson had flown on the aircraft as well as
Jack Kennedy. John Barnwell traded the A-26 on February
7, 1967 for a larger Convair 240 with Omni Investments.
The registration N-numbers were also swapped in the
trade and Invader N75Y became Invader N240P.
Flight Test Research, Inc. of Long Beach, California
purchased the aircraft on April 19, 1967 for $15,000.00
and the aircraft went home to where it was built 25
Ownership history and uses are a little sketchy from
1972 to 1977. But they must have been interesting since
the aircraft was seized from drug-runners by T. L. Baker
of the Potter Co. Sheriffs Dept in Amarillo on January
10, 1977. This occurred after a pilot had landed the
aircraft on one engine and walked away from the
airplane. This clearly made the authorities suspicious.
A testament to this story is that at a particular air
show a few years ago, two gentlemen in dark sunglasses
seemed rather intrigued by the airplane; finally one of
the gentlemen approached a crew member and asked what
color the aircraft had been before Ranger Wing acquired
it. When told it was white with grey trim he exclaimed:
"My God it's the "Grey Ghost! We chased that sucker
up and down the Gulf Coast! Never could catch him. He'd
drop down on the deck and throttle the engines up and
leave us standing there!"
The two gentlemen were DEA agents.
The A-26 was purchased by the Commemorative Air Force
on December 21, 1977from the Amarillo Sheriffs Dept.
After numerous weekend trips to Amarillo to prepare her
for the flight to her new home, the A-26 was ferried to
Waco on September 11, 1980. Quite a feat since the
Ranger Squadron had only held its first meeting as a CAF
unit on June 23, 1980 and only had 15 very dedicated
members when assigned the A-26 by the Commemorative Air
Initial restoration was completed in August of 1982
and soon after the airplane headed for Redbird Airport
near Dallas for a new paint job, that's after members
had removed four coats of paint. When the aircraft
emerged from the paint shop, it sported the colors of
the Grim Reapers of the 13th Bomb Squadron - Korea. The
aircraft was jet black, with red wingtips and cowlings.
Ranger Member Col. Gene Deveney painted the nose art of
a Hauco Indian Princess on the nose and the members
voted and finally named the airplane the "Spirit of
Waco" narrowly defeating the name "Tee-Pee Time Gal".
The aircraft remained on the ground for a two year
period when it lost it's number one engine due to a
master rod failed on takeoff at Las Vegas McCarran
Airport in 1986 after a CAF "Gathering of Eagles" show.
Col Wayne Shookman, who was at the controls at the time,
managed to get the aircraft back safely on the ground.
The Ranger Squadron found many eager volunteer CAF
Colonels in the Las Vegas area to help get "Spirit of
Waco" back in the air. It was from these volunteers that
the Nevada Wing was born. The CAF honored these
volunteers by assigning them the "Vegas Vixen" an A-26C
model (glass nose) to also don in the 13th Bomb
Squadrons colors. Thanks to their help, "Spirit of Waco"
and "Vegas Vixen" continue to spark the imagination and
thrill air show spectators with their low level strafing
attacks and bomb runs.
The Invader Squadron was formed in February 2009 to
restore this Douglas A-26B Invader, registration number
N240P, back to flying condition and it will be in the
color scheme of the 3rd Bomb Group, 8th Bomb Squadron
during the Korean War and named "Texas Special".
The aircraft is based at Meacham Airport in the
hangar of the Vintage Flying Museum and has 75+ members
devoted to maintain and safeguard this A-26B, a graceful
and beautiful example of the aircraft that defended our
nation and other allied countries in such a desperate
and dramatic period in our nation's history.
Commemorative Air Force
CAF Invader Squadron
C/O Vintage Flying Museum
505 NW 38th Street #33S
Fort Worth, TX 76106
Please fill out your contact information
below if you are interested in contacting
the operator, or representative,
of this Warbird and you require more information for booking this
aircraft at your Airshow