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Catalog Data

Best, Sherman V., Jr.  Search this
47 Digital images
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Digital images
bulk 1943-1945
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of 47 images relating to Sherman V. Best, Jr.'s military service and the Martin (Glenn L.) B-26B Marauder (Model 179B) "Flak Bait." All were taken in the European theater during World War II, with the exception of one image taken of "Flak Bait" on display at the National Air and Space Museum. The images are scans made from original prints loaned by the donor. The original prints range in size from approximately 2 by 2.5 inches up to approximately 4 by 5 inches. All the images are black and white, with the exception of one color image. Scans were made at 600 dpi and sized so that the longest side is 6000 pixels. In addition to images of various Martin (Glenn L.) B-26 aircraft including "Flak Bait," aircraft depicted in the photographs include the Douglas C-47 Skytrain and Lockheed P-38 Lightning. People depicted in the photographs include various "Flak Bait" crew members including Best (co-pilot); Henry "Hank" Bozarth (pilot); Russell Bassler (tail gunner); W.J. "Bill" Johnston (engineer gunner); McDonald Darnell, Jr. (radio operator); and Tom Gee. There are also photographs of various other military personnel (some of whom may also have flown on "Flak Bait") including George Lane; Robert M. Jones; A.F. Byrd; Robert F. Whittling; Joe Urbanovsky; and Irv Pincus. Other named aircraft shown in the photographs include Douglas C-47 Skytrain "Dragon Lady" and Martin (Glenn L.) B-26B Marauder (Model 179B) "Lil Maggie."
Biographical / Historical:
Martin (Glenn L.) B-26B Marauder (Model 179B) "Flak Bait" (A19600297000) survived 207 operational missions over Europe, more than any other American aircraft during World War II. "Flak-Bait" was built at the Glenn L. Martin Company's Baltimore, Maryland factory and was completed in April 1943, when it was flown to England. The U.S. Army Air Force assigned it to the 449th Bombardment Squadron, 322nd Bombardment Group (nicknamed the 'Annihilators'), and gave the bomber the fuselage identification codes "PN-O." Sherman V. Best, Jr. was a member of the 449th Bombardment Squadron, 322nd Bombardment Group and served as co-pilot on one of "Flak Bait's" crews.
Linda Best Coviello, Gift, 2015
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Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
World War, 1939-1945 -- Aerial operations  Search this
Martin B-26B Marauder (Model 179B) "Flak Bait"  Search this
Douglas C-47 Skytrain Family  Search this
Lockheed P-38 Lightning Family  Search this
Digital images
Martin (Glenn L.) B-26B Marauder (Model 179B) "Flak Bait" Photographs [Best], Accession number, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
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Martin (Glenn L.) B-26B Marauder (Model 179B) "Flak Bait" Photographs [Best]
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives