Douglas A/B-26 Invader

Nimrods of the 609th SOS

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The B-26K (A-26A) “Nimrod” was the most effective night attack aircraft used on the Ho Chi Minh Trail through Laos between June 1966 and November 1969. Flown out of Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai AFB, the success of this WWII vintage attack bomber was extremely embarrassing to the “jets can do everything” USAF leadership. For example, in December 1966 of 3,000 sorties were flown against the Ho Chi Minh Trail, Nimrods flew only 6.5% but accounted for 64% of the 195 trucks killed!

To fix this “problem” Gen. Momyer (7th AF) first insisted that the A-26As be forced to use inappropriate ordnance (“hard” bombs or rockets and napalm rather than cluster bombs) and, when that didn’t work, resorted to lying about the bombing results by lumping all 7th AF kills together and stating that the A-26 kills had happened in North Vietnam (where only jets operated). He also refused all requests to increase the number of A-26As used (there were never more than 18 in theater at any one time). Just one more example of how winning wasn’t important to the military “leadership” of the time. More ominously, despite repeated requests, the A-26As were never upgraded with “Yankee” ejection seats (of 30 airframes sent to SEA, 12 were lost and only two of those crews survived).

So, if you want to do a model of an aircraft of that era flown by really heroic crews, the Nimrod is a great candidate. Forty WWII vintage airframes were modified from 15 June 1964 to 1 April 1965 and given new serial numbers (64-17640 to 79). They had the gun turrets removed, permanent tip tanks installed, bigger props, a bigger tail, new wheels/tires, pylons, and antennas; and a new oil cooler/cowling that was added later. Originally designated B-26K, they were redesignated as the A-26A on 1 May 1966 before being sent to Thailand because the Thai government objected to having aircraft with the “offensive” bomber designation based on its territory.

The NIMROD's were primarily tasked with the night time interdiction of enemy troops and truck convoys transporting supplies down the Ho Chi Minh Trail to the communist forces in South Vietnam. Their A-26s proved to be a deadly truck-killing aircraft. These aircrews and their redesigned WWII propeller-driven aircraft had a destructive effect far out of proportion to their numbers. Awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for “extraordinary gallantry in connection with military operations in Southeast Asia,” the NIMRODs were recognized as the best truck killers of the War!

Nimrods of the 609th - Page 2


"Nimrods" was the nick-name of the 609th Special Operations Squadron, U.S. Air Force. The unit was based at Nakhon Phantom, in north-eastern Thailand (but almost directly on the border to central Laos), in 1969, and operated against the North Vietnamese and Pathet Lao, inside Laos.

The incentive for this feature was supplied by Mr. Jim Sizemore, son of Major James E. Sizemore, pilot with 609th SOS "Nimrods", killed in a crash on 8 July 1969, together with his co-pilot, Major Howard Andre. Their A-26A came down near Xieng Khouang, on the Plain of Jars, by night. The wreckage of the aircraft was found by the Joint Task Force for MIA/KIA, in 1991, but no human remains were found inside the cockpit, and the final fate of the crew was never established.

I hope I got it right James !


I'm also immeasurably grateful to the son of Lt. Col. Charles C. Vogler, Don, who now runs the

On Going feature

Douglas B-26K Counter-Invader 64-17679, N4988N "Special Kay" - Restoration

Associated reading

The A-26 Legacy Foundation

Al 'Batman' Shortt

Steve Aaron US Army

Tim Black was a B-26K Counter Invader pilot in the Vietnam. See the 5 Part video of his experiences while flying the B-26K 

I am the son of a Nimrod (Lt. Col. Charles C. Vogler) who flew with James Sizemore's Dad in Nakhon Phanom Thailand in 1968/69.  You have some pictures of my father's A-26  "Mighty Mouse" on your site.  My  Dad named his plane after our summer home "Mouse Island" on Squam Lake, Center Harbor NH.  His plane is now on display at KAI Aerospace Museum, Sacheon South Korea. 
James and I have become pretty close friends over the past couple years ... and ...  have undertaken a charitable project that we want you to be aware of.  We have united the Sons and Daughters of the Nimrods and established the "A-26 Legacy Foundation."  The Foundation is in the process of acquiring the world's last airworthy A-26A/B-26K Counter Invader.  Our plans are to acquire, restore this plane to factory new condition, and dedicate it to our fathers at their next Nimrod Reunion in October 2007.  Thereafter, our mission will be to operate and maintain this "K" as a "flying" museum ... honoring these men for time immemorial ... and to share this historic aircraft with air show visitors nationwide (especially younger Americans) in a uniquely tailored educational forum designed to increase public awareness of our fathers’ service with the United States Air Force during the “Secret Air War in Vietnam and Laos.” 
Please take a look at our website ( when you have a moment ... and ... if you would be so kind ... include a link to our site on yours (we will likewise be happy to link our site to yours).  We are actively seeking donations to keep our project alive for time immemorial.  We are a Non Profit 501c3 Educational Foundation and embrace the philosophy that aviation history should be kept alive, not just preserved in dusty, isolated museums for only a few to see.  Thanks in advance for you help!  Feel free to call me if you have any questions.
Donald S. Vogler, Chairman
The A-26 Legacy Foundation

Below are three recent shots of Don's father's aeroplane "Mighty Mouse" at her resting place at the KAI Aerospace Museum in Korea




Misc. shots


64-17679 - ex A-26B 44-34198 To civil N269G, C-GXTG, then N4988N


64-17653 - ex A-26B 41-39378 To SEA 1968. To Davis-Monthan 1969. Preserved at Pima County Air Museum, Tucson, AZ.




64-17651 - ex A-26B 44-34119 To SEA 1967. To Davis-Monthan 1969. Preserved at Seoul Museum, Korea.










Thanks to Harry Whitver for the above Illustration





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