Air Enthusiast 2003-05
D.Hagedorn - Latin Mitchells (3)
Although of marginal quality, this spectacular photo reveals a variety of historical information. The three B-25Js are believed to be the first Mitchell's acquired by the FAV, a contention supported by the fact that they bear roundels under both wings without the distinctive Venezuelan coloured wings added later. This is an actual photo, not a composite, and the P-47D is making a very low pass over the FAV's solitary Lockheed 12A recon aircraft.
Although of marginal quality, this spectacular photo reveals a variety of historical information. The three B-25Js are believed to be the first Mitchell's acquired by the FAV, a contention supported by the fact that they bear roundels under both wings without the distinctive Venezuelan coloured wings added later. This is an actual photo, not a composite, and the P-47D is making a very low pass over the FAV's solitary Lockheed 12A recon aircraft.
North American B-25J of 1/10 GAv, Brazilian Air Force. Note the 'tilted' national insignia and the lack of individual designation/serial on the tail.
North American B-25J 808 of the Chilean Air Force.
North American B-25J 3503 of the Escuadrilla Bombardero Ligero, 1955.
Although of marginal quality, this spectacular photo reveals a variety of historical information. The three B-25Js are believed to be the first Mitchell's acquired by the FAV, a contention supported by the fact that they bear roundels under both wings without the distinctive Venezuelan coloured wings added later. This is an actual photo, not a composite, and the P-47D is making a very low pass over the FAV's solitary Lockheed 12A recon aircraft.
Three ex-RCAF B-25Js, including '14-A-40' and '12-A-40', reflect the abbreviated overhaul performed by L B Smith Corporation when delivered in the late 1950s and the replacement of the dorsal turret by a small observation dome on these aircraft, as well as extensive modifications to the glazed noses.
'2-A-40', was one of the 16 acquired in 1949 and 1950, and represents the 'like new' colours in which the aircraft were initially delivered from TEMCO in Texas.
Originally delivered in 1949-1950, '6-A-40' was later overhauled once again by the L B Smith Aircraft Corp in Miami, Florida, where it was captured on film. Note that by this time, the operating unit insignia had been added under the pilot's window and all guns (including the waist guns, unusual for a Latin American B-25J) were in place by 1957 photo.
Yet another variation on the theme, Venezuelan B-25J '4-B-40', was in February 1956, does not have the serial code on the vertical fin and the dorsal turret appears still intact but without guns.
Like most air arms, Venezuela also had an aircraft 'boneyard' where retired machines went to die. Two otherwise anonymous B-25Js await an uncertain future in 1990.