How to bail out of the B-25

Emergencies in the air leave no time for confusion or second guessing. When the pilot gives the order to abandon airplane, each man proceeds immediately to his appointed exit hatch.

Pilot, copilot. radio operator in the B-25 wear seat-type dinghies as cushions. but when order is given over the intercom, they attach breast-type parachutes. Navigator and upper turret gunner do not wear the dinghy but must attach both dinghy and breast-type parachute to the Quick Action harness.

When several crew members bail out of the same hatch, each checks the others carefully to make sure that all are wearing a full complement of equipment, securely fastened. On overwater flights. a life vest is worn under the QAC harness.

Note positions of the dinghy and parachute in designated places throughout the ship. Upper turret gunner always has his parachute conveniently mounted on the port wall, forward of rear armor plate bulkhead in the upper turret compartment.

How to bail out of the B-26

As can easily be discerned from the diagram, the Martin B-26 Marauder is one of the most difficult and dangerous ships from which to bail out. But this plane's phenomenal record of having the lowest ratio in losses of any Allied warplane shows that the B-26 is structurally tough, and that its crews are not often forced to abandon ship.

When the order is given to abandon the airplane, crew members automatically start bailout procedure, which, the result of continuous drilling, should be second nature. In the B-26 pilot, co-pilot, navigator, and radio operator wear the seat-type dinghy on all flights. Their first move, therefore, is to snap the breast-type parachute onto the Quick Action harness, and exit in specified order through indicated hatches. Upper turret gunner, tunnel gunner, and tail gunner must quickly attach both the dinghy and breast-type parachute. On all overwater hops, life vests are worn, and the lanyard on the dinghy is snapped onto the D-ring on the Mae West. Numbers indicate bailout order. Pilot is always the last to abandon the plane.

This article was originally published in the August, 1944, issue of Air News magazine, vol 7, no 2, pp 26-27.
The original article is a two-page poster-format set of diagrams.
Drawings are credited to Training Aids Division USAAF.