This is another of the USAAF instructional films. Here we learn to fly both the B-25 MITCHELL as well as the B-26 MARAUDER often times called ‘the Widowmaker’.
We begin with a walk around inspection outside our MITCHELL, then all through the interior of this great medium bomber with checklist in hand. This gives us a great look at this aircraft, inside and out – all through the plane. We sit in the pilot’s seat and go through the checklist, then we start those two huge radial engines and taxi out. We are in the cockpit, flying the plane and putting her through her maneuvers to see how she handles. The B-25 is an outstanding aircraft – you’ll love it!
Then we do the same with the B-26, the plane known as ‘the Widowmaker’!
With checklist in hand, we preflight, taxi out and we are in the air. The Instructor Pilot tells us that the B-26 can handle a dive or a power-off stall…….then he lists all everything that the B-26 can NOT do in the way of normal aerobatics. They were called ‘the Widowmaker’ for good reason.
Suddenly, one engine quits and they are faced with the worst fears of a B-26 pilot…..single engine operation of this aircraft. The Instructor coaches the student pilot calmly through his landing – you only get ONE chance with a B-26 on a single engine. After landing, the Instructor Pilot checks to see why the port engine quit. It seems that the Crew Chief, Corporal Smith, mistakenly switched fuel from the wrong tank, causing the port engine quit from fuel starvation.
The last we see of Corporal Smith…………..I mean Private Smith, he was reassigned to permanent KP duty!
This is a great piece of internal propaganda, making it appear that flying the B-26 was no different than flying any other plane – even though many pilots hated this ‘Widowmaker’.