Another Mitchell of the 12th AF pictured over the island of Pantelleria in mid-1943. A B-25C, it appears to be finished in a mixture of olive drab and desert pink.
As well as building B-25 bombers, NAA converted a number of airframes to fast ‘executive’ transports for company personnel and generals, including ‘Hap' Arnold and Eisenhower. The first production B-25 was converted to become the first such transport.
A typical RAF 2 Group close formation by the pilot of Mitchell II ‘S Sugar’ of No 98 Squadron. The bulge under the rear fuselage is the unmanned ventral turret which was retained on RAF Mitchells but often discarded on USAAF examples.
The snarling tiger’s head sported by the 823rd BS of the 38th BG was just one example of 'nose art’ adopted by 5th Air Force crews.
B-25B No 43 of the 17th Bomb Group’s 34th squadron shows off its early unit designator on the fins, dark blue engine cowling rings and the group’s Thunderbird insignia.
B-25Cs of the 81st Bomb Sqn, 12th BG, which served in Tunisia and later moved to Italy.
Having been frustrated in operating their own B-25s in 1942, the Dutch crews of the newly-named Netherlands East Indies went into action under RAAF control. This formation of No 18 Sqn NEI shows the kind of mixed model B-25 formation that became commonplace in every war
To clear the flight deck for Doolittle’s raid on Tokyo, the 'Hornet' hangared its air group, although there was still precious little space for the B-25Bs to launch. This en route photograph shows how each bomber was secured for the voyage across the Pacific.
B-25C 41-30244 was the test bed for a number of armament modifications, including early single package fairings containing the breeches for a pair of .50in machine guns. Also tested were blast tubes built out from the fuselage sides and ‘flat’ sliding and clear waist windows that fitted flush. Neither of these latter ideas were incorporated on modified B-25 strafers and the braced tail cone shown in the photo here was also experimental although the tail position of the early B-25s was subjected to considerable field modification.
Operating a total of 202 B-25C and D models, the USMC was unique in having sea search radar fitted to its medium patrol bombers as standard equipment. This particular machine, B-25D Bu No 35094 named ‘Jonah', was used for extensive tests of the radar - seen extended - and armament.
Один из многих вариантов довооружения бомбардировщиков B-25C в полевых условиях. В носовой части самолета неподвижно установлены четыре пулемета калибра 12,7 мм.
One of the many adaptations of the B-25C’s nose area to add more firepower left a few clear panels while the rest were plated over. Four centreline .50in guns plus four in side barbettes could produce a concentrated cone of fire five or six feet across and some three feet deep.
The B-25 was tested for its suitability to use rockets to boost take-off performance from short runways. A fully armed C model demonstrates the technique using two of the four rocket packs during a Wright Field test. There is no record of RATOG ever being used operationally by B-25s.
Few changes were made in the cockpit of the early Mitchells, the layout shown being typical for both A and B models.
B-25C 41-30244 was the test bed for a number of armament modifications, including early single package fairings containing the breeches for a pair of .50in machine guns. Also tested were blast tubes built out from the fuselage sides and ‘flat’ sliding and clear waist windows that fitted flush. Neither of these latter ideas were incorporated on modified B-25 strafers. The views show the waist windows.
North American B-25C Mitchell
Unpolished, the NA-40 was rolled out in primer finish but was soon buffed to a high gloss aluminium for its first flight in February 1939. Although it existed only for a matter of weeks, X14221 gave NAA and the Air Corps the vital data from which the B-25 stemmed.
Установка 75-мм пушки M4 на B-25G
By taking out the co-pilot's seat and all the equipment required for bombing, adding a sophisticated sight and utilising the bombardier’s crawlway for the cannon barrel, NAA engineers made room for the massive breech of a 75mm cannon. The B-25G carried a 21-round magazine for the 20lb shells, which were loaded by hand.
Late production B-25Gs could accommodate four nose machine guns as well as the cannon, an alternative to the latter being a pair of ‘stove pipe' rocket tubes in the vacant tunnel. This test aircraft appears to have a third such weapon bolted under the fuselage, a configuration which is not believed to have been used in service, the B-25 using instead zero length wing launchers for up to eight HVARs.
Wartime propaganda carried by a 12th AF B-25J of the 489th BS, 340th BG. Flying over the Gulf of Naples, the aircraft was painted with 'Finite Benito, Next Hirohito’.