PPG Industries’ aerospace business has donated coatings used to repaint a B-26G Marauder bomber airplane now on display at the D-Day Museum at Utah Beach in Normandy, France. The aircraft honors a B-26 flown by Maj. David Dewhurst Jr., father of current Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.
The Marauder was repainted in preparation for its relocation from the Museum of Air and Space at Le Bourget Airport, Paris, to the Musée du Débarquement Utah Beach in Sainte Marie du Mont, France, where it is on permanent display in a new hangar. B-26 Marauder bombers flew during the D-Day invasion of the Normandy beach during World War II.
According to Pierre Reguer, PPG Aerospace sales representative, Gonfreville, France, PPG Aerospace offered to provide the coatings to help the museum preserve the legendary aircraft for future generations. “PPG Aerospace is privileged to participate in restoring this B-26 Marauder and in honoring one of the pilots who fought so valiantly on D-Day,” Reguer said.
PPG donated a wash primer, which was used to prepare the aircraft surface for primer application, as well as primer and topcoat, which recreated the olive drab color and yellow markings of the original “Dinah Might” flown by Maj. Dewhurst. A yellow stripe across the top of the tail identifies his aircraft as part of the U.S. Army Air Forces’ 386th Bombardment Group, while the letters “AN” on the rear of the fuselage signify the U.S. Army Air Forces’ 553rd Bombardment Squadron. The letter “Z” on the fuselage aided identification in flight, according to the B-26 Marauder Historical Society. The serial number 41-31576 is painted on the tail, minus the “4” that started the sequence for all Marauders, according to the historical society. The original B-26 flew 129 missions during the war before being lost in a raid on a supply depot in St. Wendel, Germany, on Nov. 18, 1944, according to the historical society and the Military Air Crash Report 10462.
Bombs painted on the cockpit attribute 85 aerial missions over enemy territory to Maj. Dewhurst, who returned to the United States on Aug. 31, 1944. Lt. Gov. Dewhurst helped to fund the preservation effort after learning his father had led a squadron of B-26 Marauders on D-Day.
The repainted B-26G Marauder originally was assigned to the Free French Air Force and was sent to France on May 21, 1945, according to the historical society. It was repainted by STTS Group.