Row of Douglas Boston planes on the ground with pilots

Douglas Boston

Douglas Boston

Entering service with Bomber Command in July 1941, the Boston was well liked by its crews which flew it in the light day bomber role.

The first Boston IIIs were delivered from America in summer 1941, the first squadron to receive them being No 88 based at Swanton Morley in Norfolk. It was some time (8 months) before their operational debut - an anti-shipping raid on 12 February 1942.

The aircraft replaced ageing Blenheim IVs in No 2 Group of Bomber Command and continued to be used in daylight raids on targets over occupied countries. Many attacks were made at low-level to avoid detection by German radar sites and, during the summer of 1942, a number of daring attacks were carried out; power stations, factories and railway yards being amongst the most common targets.

In June 1943, No 2 Group transferred to the newly-formed Second Tactical Air Force in preparation for the invasion of Europe where they served until April 1945 and were replaced by Mosquitos.

Three Douglas Boston aircraft flying

Specifications

Details for Boston III

Length:47ft 0in (14.32m)
Wingspan:61ft 4in (18.69m)
Height:15ft 10in (4.82m)
Maximum Speed:304mph (490km/h)
Cruising Speed:250mph (403km/h)
Ceiling:24,250ft (7,389m)
Range:1,020 miles (1,645 km) with max load
Powerplant:Two Wright Cyclone GR2600 of 1,600hp each
Payload:2,000lb (908kg)
Defensive Armament:4 x .303 machine guns in fixed nose position, 2 x .303 hand-operated guns in mid-upper and mid-lower postions.
Recognition:Slim, deep-sided fuselage with large tail on the rear fuselage. Heavily-framed glazed nose. Tricycle undercarriage with mainwheels retracting into engine nacelles.

Boston III 3-angle view

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