EB-57B Canberra

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Manufacturer: Martin
Designation: EB-57
Version: B
Nickname: Canberra
Type: Electronic Warfare / Special Electronics
Length: 65' 6"  
Height: 15' 6"  
Wingspan: 64'  
Gross Weight: 58798.0 lbs  
Max Weight: 58800.0lbs  
Payload: 6,000 lb (bomber)  
Armament: four 20mm cannon (bomber)  
No. of Engines: 2
Powerplant: Wright J65-W-5
Thrust (each): 7220  
Range: 2000 miles  
Cruise Speed: 450.00 mph    
Max Speed: 582.00 Mph    
Ceiling: 49000.0 Ft  


In the midst of the Korean War, the United States Air Force determined it
needed an all-weather tactical bomber capable of the low-level interdiction of
enemy ground transports. Designed by English Electric Aviation, the twin
jet-engine Canberra light bomber won the competition, becoming the first foreign
designed military aircraft to be produced in the United States since the First
World War. Behind in Canberra orders to the RAF, English Electric granted Martin
Aviation the contract to produce the newly designated B-57 in the United States.

Although the Martin Company began with the sleek Canberra jet-bomber, they made
significant improvements re-configuring the aircraft with powerful Wright J65
engines, adding wingtip fuel tanks, reducing the crew from three to two and
installing bomb-bay doors that rotated into the fuselage to decrease drag.

The first production B-57 flew on July 20, 1953, seven days before the
Armistice ending the Korean War. By August, the USAF had accepted the B-57 for
production. Between 1953 and 1957, 403 B-57s were built in various


The War in Vietnam brought the B-57 into conflict for the first time when two
RB-57Es arrived in Southeast Asia in April of 1963 to fly reconnaissance
sorties. By August of the next year, B-57B bombers from the Air Force's 8th and
13th Bomb Squadrons were engaged in night interdiction missions from bases in
Bien Hoa, Vietnam. 1966 saw the B-57 contingent transferred to Phan Rang Air
Base to conduct operations centered on the Ho Chi Minh trail and the Viet Cong
strongholds in Binh Duong Province known as the "Iron Triangle." A total of 94
B-57Bs were deployed to Southeast Asia, 51 were lost in combat and seven to
other causes. By 1969, only nine survived.


March Field Air Museum's B-57B, serial number 52-1519 is one of those rare
survivors. Beginning life as a "D" model, it was delivered to the Air Force on
March 29, 1955. During its operational life, it saw service with the 8th
Tactical Bombing Squadron, Air National Guard Units in Kansas and Kentucky,
PACAF units at Clark AB, Philippines, and Phan Rang AB, Vietnam. From 1969 to
1972, 52-1519 was stored at the "boneyard" at Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ. In 1973 it
was converted to an EB-57B for an Electronic Counter-Measures (ECM) role, and
flew with the 158th Defense Systems Evaluation Group of the Vermont Air National
Guard from 1974-1981. This aircraft is currently on loan from the NMUSAF.

- - - - - - - - - -

According to the Air Force Historical Research Agency (AFHRA/RSA), Maxwell
AFB, AL, the museum's EB-57B has the following history:

B-57B, s/n 52-1519, was manufactured by Glenn L Martin Co., and delivered to
the USAF on 29 Mar 1955. Its assignments were:

Mar 1955  - To Warner Robins Air Materiel Area GA

May 1955  - To 38th Bombardment (L) Wing (USAFE), Laon AB France

Oct 1955  - Unit became 38th Bombardment (Tactical) Wing (deployed to
Landstuhl AB Germany)

Apr 1958 - To 117th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron (ANG), NAS Hutchinson KS

Jul 1959  - To 165th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron (ANG), Standiford Field
KY (converted to RB-57B)

Jan 1963  - To 123rd Tactical Reconnaissance Group (ANG), Standiford Field KY

Jan 1965 -  To 405th Fighter Wing (PACAF), Clark AB Philippines

Oct 1965  - To 6200th Air Base Wing (PACAF), Clark AB PH (converted to B-57B)

Apr 1967  - To 405th Fighter Wing (PACAF), Clark AB PH (deployed to Phan Rang

Jan 1968  - To 35th Fighter Wing (PACAF), Phan Rang AB NVN (deployed to Clark

Oct 1969 -  To Military Aircraft Storage Center AZ

Jul 1972  - To Warner Robins Air Materiel Area GA (converted to EB-57)

Jan 1973 -  To 4677th Defense Systems Evaluation Squadron (ADC), Malmstrom
AFB MT (converted to EB-57B)

Apr 1974  - To 158th Fighter Interceptor Group (ANG), Burlington AP VT

Sep 1975  - To 158th DSE Group (ANG), Burlington AP VT

Dec 1981  - Dropped from inventory by donation to school or museum.   Final
flight to the museum at March AFB after 7,727.5 flight hours.