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Amerika Utara B-25G Mitchell

Amerika Utara B-25G Mitchell


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Amerika Utara B-25G Mitchell


Pandangan hidung Amerika Utara B-25G Mitchell, dengan meriam 75mm.

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Senarai B-25 Amerika Utara Mitchells yang masih hidup

Terdapat lebih dari seratus orang Amerika Utara B-25 Mitchells yang masih hidup yang tersebar di seluruh dunia, terutamanya di Amerika Syarikat. Sebilangan besar dari mereka dipamerkan secara statik di muzium, tetapi kira-kira 45 masih layak diperiksa.

Sebilangan besar ini dibawa bersama untuk Catch-22, sebuah filem perang tahun 1970 yang diadaptasi dari buku dengan nama yang sama oleh Joseph Heller. Bila Tangkap 22 memulakan pengeluaran awal, Paramount mengupah organisasi Tallmantz Aviation untuk mendapatkan B-25 yang tersedia. Presiden Tallmantz, Frank G. Tallman akhirnya menemui pesawat surplus perang, dan akhirnya mengumpulkan tidak hanya juruterbang untuk menerbangkan pesawat tetapi juga kru penyokong darat untuk menjaga armada.

Pada 18 April 2010, 17 pesawat B-25 yang layak terbang berlepas dari lapangan terbang di belakang Muzium Nasional Angkatan Udara Amerika Syarikat dan terbang dalam formasi untuk memperingati ulang tahun ke-68 Doolittle Raid. Empat daripada anggota Raid yang masih hidup hadir untuk perjumpaan Cole, Griffin, Hite dan Thatcher, walaupun Hite berangkat sebelum jejambat. Setiausaha Tentera Udara Michael Donley, Komandan Jeneral Komando Bahan Angkatan Udara Donald Hoffman dan Pengarah Muzium Nasional Angkatan Udara Amerika Syarikat Mejar Jeneral (ret.) Charles Metcalf juga ada di sana. & # 911 & # 93

Ini adalah senarai pesawat B-25 Mitchell Amerika Utara yang masih hidup.


Doolittle's Raider: Amerika Utara B-25 Mitchell

Pengebom pertama yang menyerang Jepun selepas Pearl Harbor, B-25 Mitchell dijumpai di setiap teater perang dan merupakan pengebom serbaguna yang lasak yang sangat digemari oleh kapal terbangnya untuk kelangsungan hidupnya dan kemudahan untuk terbang.

Gambar Teratas: Pengebom B-25 Mitchell terbang di Eropah. Hadiah Charles Szumigala, 2011.076.021

Terdapat banyak gambar ikonik dari Perang Dunia II, seperti menaikkan bendera Amerika di atas Gunung Suribachi atau orang Amerika yang menuju ke pantai dari kapal Higgins pada D-Day. Satu gambar ikonik yang lain adalah pemandangan pengebom B-25 Mitchell Amerika Utara yang terlepas dari dek kapal induk AS USS Hornet (CV-8) untuk menyerang tanah air Jepun pada apa yang dikenal sebagai "Doolittle Raid." Kisah serangan dan B-25 itu sendiri adalah bukti keberanian dan kemahiran kru udara yang menerbangkan pesawat luar biasa ini.

Dibangunkan oleh North American Aviation, B-25 Mitchell adalah pengebom sederhana yang dapat membawa 3000 paun bom pada kecepatan maksimum 328 batu per jam, dan membawa enam senapang mesin M2 Browning berkaliber 0,50 untuk perlindungan. B-25 dinamai Jenderal Amerika William "Billy" Mitchell yang merupakan penyokong pesawat perang dan pengembangan kekuatan udara AS. Pesawat pertama terbang pada 19 Ogos 1940, dan mula beroperasi pada bulan Februari 1941. Sementara B-25 dimaksudkan untuk mengebom dari ketinggian sederhana, kerana fleksibilitasnya, ia akhirnya memainkan pelbagai peranan seperti serangan darat tingkat rendah dan menyerang kenderaan dan penghantaran.

Akan tetapi, paparan utama fleksibilitasnya muncul pada bulan April 1942, dan Doolittle Raid. Selepas serangan di Pearl Harbor pada bulan Disember 1941, Amerika Syarikat tidak mempunyai banyak pilihan untuk menyerang balik tanah air Jepun. Idea untuk merancang melancarkan pengebom dari kapal induk berasal dari Kapten Tentera Laut AS Francis S. Low dan dengan cepat disetujui. Terdapat banyak kebimbangan mengenai rancangan itu. Pengebom enjin berkembar tidak seharusnya berlepas dari kapal induk. Leftenan Kolonel James "Jimmy" Doolittle ditugaskan untuk melakukan serbuan dan dengan cepat menentukan B-25 akan menjadi pesawat terbaik untuk menyelesaikan pekerjaan itu. The Hornet tidak akan dapat melancarkan pesawatnya sendiri dengan 16 B-25 diikat di deknya, jadi USS Perusahaan (CV-6) juga akan menyediakan penutup udara. Kejayaan misi bergantung pada kerahsiaan. Sekiranya armada itu ditemui, dan dua kapal induk yang tidak ternilai itu hilang, tidak banyak yang dapat menghentikan orang Jepun mengamuk di seluruh Pasifik.

Foto kumpulan Kumpulan Pengebom ke-12 dengan pengebom B-25 Mitchell di padang pasir Afrika Utara pada bulan November 1942. Hadiah Dalam Kenangan L.A. Rogers, 2009.278.003

B-25 pengebom Mitchell menyerang pangkalan tentera laut dan mengangkut kapal di pulau Rabaul yang dikuasai Jepun. Hadiah Dalam ingatan Sgt. Lyle E. Eberspecher, 2013.495.1671

Pengebom B-25 Mitchell menjatuhkan muatan bomnya ke posisi Jerman berhampiran Lake Comacchio, Itali. Hadiah Dalam ingatan Sgt. Lyle E. Eberspecher, 2013.495.1689

Pengebom B-25 Mitchell terikat di dek USS Hornet (CV-8), sementara kapal pengangkut itu dalam perjalanan ke titik pelancaran Doolittle Raid pada bulan April 1942. Dengan hormat Komando Sejarah dan Warisan Angkatan Laut.

B-25 pengebom Mitchell mengangkut dan menjatuhkan bom parafrag di lapangan terbang Jepun di Hollandia di Hindia Belanda. Hadiah Dalam Kenangan Benjamin Elmore Howze, 2012.278.051

Pengebom B-25J Mitchell dengan empat anak kapal berdiri di hadapan pesawat, 1944. Hadiah Dalam Memori L.A. Rogers, 2009.278.197

Lepaskan pengebom B-25 Mitchell dari geladak USS Hornet (CV-8) semasa Doolittle Raid di Jepun pada 18 April 1942. Arkib Negara.

Kapal-kapal Amerika berjaya sampai dalam jarak 650 batu dari Jepun sebelum ditemui. Walaupun mereka masih sejauh 200 batu dari tempat pelancaran pilihan, pesanan diberikan untuk dilancarkan. Jadi, pada 18 April 1942, 16 pengebom B-25 berlepas dari Hornet dan mengebom sasaran di bandar-bandar Jepun di Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya, dan Kobe. Walaupun serangan itu menyebabkan sedikit kerosakan pada orang Jepun, itu adalah kemenangan propaganda yang besar bagi orang Amerika, dan membuktikan kepada masyarakat AS bahawa kita dapat menyerang balik. Ini juga memberikan pandangan yang tidak menyenangkan kepada orang Jepun mengenai apa yang akan datang.

B-25 Mitchell terus terbang di setiap teater semasa perang. B-25 adalah pesawat yang lasak, dengan daya tahan yang luar biasa, dan mudah terbang yang menjadikannya popular dengan kru udara. Selepas perang, ia ditugaskan ke banyak unit Pengawal Nasional Amerika sebelum tidak berfungsi pada tahun 1950-an. Hari ini, B-25 tetap menjadi pesawat yang popular dengan banyak yang masih terbang di pameran udara dan koleksi peribadi.

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James Linn

Warga New Orleans, James Linn pertama kali terlibat dengan institusi yang kemudian dikenali sebagai The National D-Day Museum pada tahun 2001 sebagai sukarelawan kelas lapan pada hujung minggu dan pada musim panas. Linn menyertai kakitangan The National WWII Museum pada tahun 2014 dan berkhidmat sebagai Kurator sehingga tahun 2020.


Amerika Utara B-25G Mitchell - Sejarah

Sejarah Pesawat
Dibina oleh Penerbangan Amerika Utara (NAA). Nombor Pembina 96-16714. Dihantar ke Angkatan Udara Tentera A.S. (USAAF) sebagai nombor siri B-25G-5-NA Mitchell 42-64835. Dihantar ke luar negara melalui Hickam Field kemudian menyeberangi Pasifik ke Australia.

Sejarah Perang
Ditugaskan kepada Tentera Udara ke-5 (AF ke-5), Kumpulan Bombardment ke-38 (BG ke-38), Skuadron Bombardment ke-822 (BS ke-822). Tidak ada nama samaran atau seni hidung. Apabila hilang, enjin R-2600-13 nombor siri 41-29362 dan 42-28431. Meriam hidung 75mm dikeluarkan dan diganti dengan dua senapang berkaliber .50 tambahan. Senapang hidung .50 senapang mesin berkaliber nombor siri 153865, 106276, 677789, 386266, 385433, 148150. Senapang sisi .50 mesingan berkaliber nombor siri 397919 dan 561859. Turret atas .50 senapan mesin berkaliber 87269 dan 85732. Mesin kaliber .50 pinggang senapang 74380 dan 27640.

Sejarah Misi
Pada 12 April 1944 berangkat dari Nadzab Airfield yang dipandu oleh 1st Lt Math L. English dalam misi strafing peringkat rendah menentang Hollandia. B-25 ini adalah satu daripada enam dari Skuadron Bombardment ke-822 (BS ke-822). Sekembalinya, B-25 ini mengalami kerosakan enjin dan berjaya mendarat dengan utuh di rumput kunai kira-kira lima puluh batu di selatan-tenggara Wewak.

Selepas pendaratan, seluruh kru lima dikesan oleh B-25 lain dalam formasi dan nampaknya tidak terluka dari pendaratan. B-25 yang lain dalam formasi menurunkan bekalan kepada mereka dan risalah dalam Bahasa Inggeris Pidgin memberitahu orang tempatan untuk menolong mereka sampai ke talian Sekutu. Apabila pesawat ini tidak dapat dikembalikan, kru yang secara rasmi disenaraikan sebagai Missing In Action (MIA).

Cari
Pada 16 April 1944 & quotBlack Sunday & quot B-25G Mitchell 42-64837 dari 822nd Bombardment Squadron (822nd BS) dihantar mencari kru, diiringi oleh empat P-38 Lightnings dari 8th Fighter Group (8th FG), 36th Fighter Squadron (FS ke-36). Bermula jam 11:45 pagi formasi menggeledah kawasan itu tetapi tidak menemui anak kapal. Pada pukul 1:30 petang, P-38 pengawal kehabisan bahan bakar dan formasi berangkat. Kembali dari misi pencarian, keempat-empat P-38 itu tersesat dalam cuaca buruk dan hanya ketua penerbangan, juruterbang P-38H Zielinski kembali dengan selamat. Tiga yang lain hilang dalam Aksi (MIA) termasuk: P-38H 42-66555, P-38H 42-66832 dan P-38H 42-66668.

Beberapa ketika selepas itu, bangkai kapal B-25 dibom dan disusun untuk mengelakkannya ditangkap oleh Jepun. Akibat serangan ini, pengebom itu terbakar, tetapi badan belakang, bahagian ekor dan sayap tetap utuh.

Nasib Krew
Pada saat pendaratan kekuatan, pasukan Sekutu terdekat berada beratus-ratus kilometer ke timur di Dumpu. Anak kapal tidak mempunyai harapan untuk diselamatkan, kecuali jika landasan udara dapat dipotong menjadi vegetasi.

Menurut penduduk kampung, kru selamat dan berjalan sejauh Paiambit, di mana mereka ditangkap oleh Tentera Jepun Imperial (IJA) kemudian dibawa ke Moim di utara Sungai Sepik. Di kampung, mereka dibuat untuk menggali kubur mereka sendiri, kemudian ditembak. Menurut penduduk tempatan, hanya ada tiga kubur (bukan lima) di Moim. Siapa yang dikebumikan di Moim, jika ada, belum dapat dipastikan.

Terdapat fail lengkap dalam koleksi Memorial Perang Australia (AWM) yang merujuk kepada & quot; Lima orang yang terselamat dari pesawat yang tidak dikenali, mungkin RAAF & quot, yang terhempas di barat Moim pada bulan Mac / April 44 & quot. Tidak ada bangkai pesawat Tentera Udara Diraja Australia (RAAF) di mana sahaja berhampiran kawasan ini. Fail ini, tidak diragukan lagi, merujuk kepada kru B-25 ini.

Fail tersebut mendedahkan bahawa pada tahun 1945, salah seorang Tawanan Perang Jepun (POW) yang disoal siasat di Wewak adalah Letnan Jeneral Nakano Hidemitsu, Pegawai Memerintah Bahagian 51 Tentera Darat Jepun. Dia mendakwa, antara lain, bahawa Kolonel Hori Keijiro, Komandan Rejimen Infanteri ke-102, yang kemudian berpusat di Marienberg, mempunyai pengetahuan tentang penangkapan lima orang tentera Bersekutu sekitar bulan Mac-April 44. Pasukan perundangan Australia kemudian menyoal siasat Keijiro, juga ditangkap di Wewak, yang menandatangani pernyataan bahawa lima orang udara sebenarnya telah dibawa kepadanya di Marienberg akibat kehilangan pesawat yang tidak dikenali pada bulan Mac / April 1944.

Keijiro berkata, dia kemudian menyerahkan tahanan ke Wewak untuk berada di bawah bidang kuasa Lt-Kolonel Suzuki Notoaki, seorang pegawai dari Markas Bahagian Imperial ke-51. Notoaki, yang juga ditemu ramah, mengatakan bahawa dia hanya dapat mengingat dua orang udara yang tiba walaupun dia tidak pernah melihat mereka. Pesawat yang datang, berapa pun jumlahnya, kemudian dikejar ke Mejar Veda (nama penuh tidak disebut) dari Kōkūtai ke-4 yang menyoal siasat mereka secara berasingan dan melaporkan hasil soal siasat ke Markas Tentera Darat ke-18.

Sudah jelas dari afidavit Keijiro bahawa dia sengaja memberikan minimum maklumat. Sekiranya sebenarnya ada tiga pesawat udara AS yang dikebumikan di sebuah kubur di Moim, adakah Keijiro yang memerintahkan tiga kru Inggeris & # 146 dibawa ke sana untuk dihukum mati. Sekiranya demikian, adakah orang Inggeris dan pegawai lain dibawa ke Wewak, mungkin di bawah perintah Veda? Sekiranya laporan soal siasat dihantar oleh Kōkūtai ke-4 seperti yang dituntut, maka di suatu tempat di arkib pintasan A.S. atau Australia mungkin merupakan isyarat penyadapan yang seharusnya mempunyai dua nama keluarga, dan hasil siasatan ini.

Bangkai kapal
Kemalangan B-25 ini mendarat di kawasan paya terpencil di utara Sungai Sepik dan selatan Urimo. Semasa musim hujan, kawasan ini sebahagiannya dilanda banjir. Pesawat itu dibakar dari tali oleh B-25 dari Kumpulan Bombardment ke-38 (38G BG) untuk menghancurkan pengebom. Secara bermusim, tumbuh-tumbuhan tumbuh di sekitar pesawat dan lubang melingkar terletak di hadapan sayap kanan, mungkin kawah bom dari peluru nyaris ketika dibom.

Pada tahun 1948, lokasi kemalangan ini tidak dikunjungi oleh Pasukan Pencari RAAF, kerana paras air paya dan kerana Sungai Sepik ditenggelami air. Mereka percaya laman web ini dapat diakses semasa musim kering melalui jalan darat ke arah utara dari Timbunke.

David Gillis melawat pada tahun 1969:
& quot; Kerana rumput kunai terlalu tinggi pada waktu saya menyentuh dengan perlahan di sayap pelabuhan untuk membolehkan penumpang saya keluar dan mengambil gambar B & ampW. Seperti yang anda lihat, pautan berkaliber .50 telah dikeluarkan dari tong sampah beberapa saat sebelum dinilai oleh noda karat pada badan pesawat. Saya kembali beberapa bulan kemudian dan menemui kawasan yang jelas untuk mendarat sehingga saya dapat memeriksa bangkai kapal itu sendiri. Pautan masih dalam kedudukan yang sama. Sampai di mana bangkai kapal itu berada, saya minta maaf untuk mengatakan bahawa saya tidak dapat memberikan lokasi yang tepat selain daripada mengatakan & ldquoSaya rasa & rdquo ia berada di sebelah tenggara Wewak antara landasan udara Dataran Sepik Timur dan Sungai Sepik. Ia terletak di hamparan kunai yang besar dan sangat jelas dari udara, yang membuat saya berfikir bahawa ia akan pulih (atau sampai !!) bertahun-tahun yang lalu. Sekarang, setelah melihat ID Sepik Timur anda, saya 99% yakin bahawa itu adalah B-25G 42-64835. & Quot

Sepanjang Januari hingga Mac 2010, sepasukan dari JPAC J2 (Jabatan Sejarah / R & ampA) mengunjungi lokasi nahas dengan helikopter dan menyiasat bangkai kapal tersebut. Hingga hari ini, B-25 kekal di situ dan dapat dilihat dari udara.

Peringatan
Seluruh kru secara rasmi dinyatakan mati pada 6 Februari 1946. Semua dikenang di Tanah Perkuburan Amerika Manila di atas tablet yang hilang.

Bahasa Inggeris memperoleh Air Medal dan Purple Heart, selepas kematian. Dia juga mempunyai tanda peringatan di Gereja Methodist Gibson.

Coby memperoleh Pingat Udara dan Hati Ungu, selepas kematian.

Hohman memperoleh Pingat Udara dan Hati Ungu, selepas kematian.

Molica memperoleh Pingat Udara dengan Oak Leaf Cluster dan Purple Heart, selepas kematian.

Kirk memperoleh Air Medal dan Purple Heart, selepas kematian.

Saudara-mara
Jeff English (keponakan Matematik Inggeris yang hebat)

Rujukan
Catatan Pendaftaran Tentera Darat Perang Dunia II NARA - Math L. English
Catatan Pendaftaran Tentera Darat Perang Dunia II NARA - Leonard T. Coby dua entri pendua dengan perincian yang serupa
Catatan Pendaftaran Tentera Perang Dunia II NARA - Elmer J. Hohman
Rekod Pendaftaran Tentera Perang Dunia II NARA - Paul J. Molica
Rekod Pendaftaran Tentera Perang Dunia II NARA - Harry B. Kirk
Hasil Carian Nombor Siri USAF - B-25G-5 Mitchell 42-64835
& quot64835 (822th BS, 38th BG) mendarat di Papua New Guinea berikutan serangan strafing pada 12 April 1944. Kru dari 5 orang selamat dari pendaratan tetapi dipercayai telah ditangkap oleh Jepun. Mereka tidak pernah dilihat lagi, dianggap dihukum mati oleh penculik mereka. Kapal terbang masih ada. & Quot
Missing Air Crew Report 3981 (MACR 3981) dibuat pada 13 April 1944
Augusta Chronicle & quotGibson Flier Terakhir Dilihat Di Sayap Di Hutan & quot 16 Julai 1944 halaman 3
& quot. kali terakhir dilihat berdiri bersama kru pesawatnya di sayap pesawat di hutan New Guinea utara, pegawai komandannya menulis adik Letnan Inggeris, Puan Erette M. Harell, o Gibson. & quot
Kad Status Pesawat Muzium PNG - B-25 42-64835
Matahari Terbenam di Kawasan Pasifik Barat Daya - Dari Australia Ke Jepun: Sejarah Tergambar Kumpulan Perang Dunia ke-38 (M) Perang Dunia Tentera Udara ke-5 1941-1946 Seperti yang Diceritakan dan difoto oleh Lelaki yang Ada di sana halaman 325-327, lampiran AII- 9, AIII-24
Suruhanjaya Pertempuran Monumen Amerika (ABMC) - Math L. Inggeris
FindAGrave - 1Lt Math L English (tablet foto yang hilang)
FindAGrave - Math Lewis English (foto, berita, foto penanda peringatan)
Suruhanjaya Monumen Pertempuran Amerika (ABMC) - Leonard T. Coby
FindAGrave - 2Lt Leonard T Coby (tablet foto yang hilang)
Suruhanjaya Monumen Pertempuran Amerika (ABMC) - Elmer J. Hohman
FindAGrave - 2Lt Elmer J Hohman (tablet foto yang hilang)
Suruhanjaya Monumen Pertempuran Amerika (ABMC) - Paul J. Molica
FindAGrave - SSgt Paul J Molica (tablet yang hilang)
Suruhanjaya Monumen Pertempuran Amerika (ABMC) - Harry B. Kirk
FindAGrave - TSgt Harry B Kirk (tablet foto yang hilang)
Terima kasih kepada Jeff English untuk maklumat tambahan

Menyumbang Maklumat
Adakah anda saudara atau berkaitan dengan orang yang disebutkan?
Adakah anda mempunyai gambar atau maklumat tambahan untuk ditambahkan?


Mengapa B-25G Amerika Mitchell Hampir Lebih Banyak Tangki Daripada Bomber

Tetapi ketika Angkatan Udara Tentera A.S. memperoleh B-25G Mitchell, ia mempunyai misi yang sangat berbeza - menenggelamkan kapal di laut.

Inilah Yang Perlu Anda Ingat: Strafing dengan pesawat dengan senapang berkaliber 0,50 yang berat telah terbukti berkesan dalam Pertempuran Laut Bismarck, jadi model ‘Strafer’ B-25H berikut (dibangun 1000) menampilkan lebih banyak lagi. Ini empat kali ganda juruterbang menembak ke hadapan dengan empat senapang berkaliber .50 yang dipasang di hidung, dua lagi M2 menembak ke hadapan yang dipasang di satu atau dua lepuh di kedua-dua bahagian badan pesawat.

Ini adalah aksioma dalam penerbangan ketenteraan bahawa untuk semua daya tarikan estetik yang berpotensi, pesawat tempur lebih dari sekadar platform senjata yang bertujuan untuk menghasilkan muatan yang mematikan kepada musuh dengan berkesan. Walau bagaimanapun, kekangan ukuran dan berat selalu memberikan batasan yang lebih besar pada apa yang dapat dibawa oleh pesawat tempur daripada kapal laut atau kenderaan di darat.

Tetapi untuk setiap peraturan, ada pengecualian. Semasa Perang Dunia II, Jerman dan Amerika Syarikat sama-sama bereksperimen dengan memasang senapang 75 milimeter yang biasanya dipasang pada tangki pada pesawat serangan darat.

Pesawat serangan darat berperisai Jerman Hs-129B-3 dan pengebom Ju-88P-1 yang pantas kedua-duanya menggunakan senjata anti-tangki laras panjang untuk menghancurkan kereta kebal Soviet T-34.

Tetapi ketika Angkatan Udara Tentera A.S. memperoleh B-25G Mitchell, ia mempunyai misi yang sangat berbeza - menenggelamkan kapal di laut. Empayar Pasifik Jepun yang luas hanya dapat dikekalkan melalui konvoi bekalan yang kerap. Ketika Amerika Syarikat memutuskan untuk membongkar rangkaian pangkalan pulau Tokyo, ia memutuskan akan merebut pulau-pulau utama, dan membiarkan yang lain 'membusuk di pohon anggur' dengan memotong konvoi bekalan mereka.

Walaupun kapal selam A.S. memberikan sebahagian besar kerugian penghantaran Jepun, kekuatan udara dapat lebih cepat tertumpu untuk memalu konvoi Jepun yang besar.

Pengebom ringan dan sederhana yang relatif lincah seperti A-20 Havc dan B-25 Mitchell memainkan peranan penting dalam kempen yang sering dilupakan ini. Dapper Amerika Utara B-25 sangat terkenal dengan peranannya dalam memberikan serangan sehala yang meningkatkan semangat ke atas Jepun yang diabadikan di Tiga Puluh Saat Di Tokyo.

Tetapi kesukaran dengan B-25 adalah bahawa kapal itu sangat sukar untuk menyerang kapal dengan bom graviti tanpa arah atau torpedo yang rawan kerosakan. Beberapa juruterbang B-25 menggunakan bom langkau — secara harfiah melemparkan bom di seberang air menjadi sasaran seolah-olah mereka melompati batu.

Oleh itu timbul idea memasang senjata peletup 75 milimeter berdasarkan jenis yang digunakan pada tangki Sherman. A B-25C1 pada mulanya diubah suai menjadi prototaip yang diberi nama XB-25G dan melakukan penerbangan pertama pada 2 Oktober 1942. Hidung kanopi gelasnya yang biasanya pengebom rawan dapat mengintip pada sasaran di bawah digantikan dengan hidung berperisai yang lebih pendek dengan M4 75-milimeter meriam dipasang di buaian dengan sistem penyerapan spring recoil.

M4 mempunyai tong berkaliber 40-kelajuan sederhana dan hanya berbeza sedikit dari meriam M3 yang digunakan pada tangki Sherman. Cangkang 15 paunnya bahkan harus dimuat secara manual oleh navigator pengebom, mengambil dari rak penyimpanan perisai yang dapat membawa 21 peluru. Pistol M4 dapat menyerang sasaran dari jarak lebih dari satu mil jauhnya, dan juruterbang dan pemuat biasanya dapat melepaskan empat peluru sambil melakukan pendekatan tingkat pada sasaran. Setiap tembakan akan menyebabkan senapang besar itu mundur 21 inci.

Juruterbang itu juga dapat menembakkan dua senapang berkaliber 50 -50 yang tetap di hidung untuk membantu meriam meriam dan menekan penembak serpihan pada kapal musuh semasa dia berbaris menembaknya. Sekiranya senapang tangki tidak mencukupi, B-25G masih boleh membawa 3.000 paun bom atau torpedo di teluk bomnya, dan mempunyai dua lagi senapang M2 berkembar dalam turet atas berputar dan ekornya

Walaupun terlibat dalam pertempuran terbatas terhadap pengiriman Axis di Mediterranean, B-25G terutama menyaksikan aksi di Pasifik selatan mulai Julai 1943, terbang dari pangkalan di pinggiran Australia. Ini menghabiskan semua peluru 75 milimeter mereka hanya tujuh minggu setelah mereka tiba di teater. Senjata itu dapat mengangkut kapal dari jarak dua mil jauhnya, menenggelamkan tongkang yang lebih kecil dan mengangkut kapal dengan satu serangan dan merosakkan kapal perang yang lebih besar.

Anda dapat melihat kapal tempur B-25 beraksi dalam video ini. 400 B-25G dibina dan 63 B-25C ditukar ke model G.

Strafing dengan pesawat dengan senapang berkaliber 0,50 yang berat telah terbukti berkesan dalam Pertempuran Laut Bismarck, jadi model ‘Strafer’ B-25H berikut (dibangun 1000) menampilkan lebih banyak lagi. Ini empat kali ganda juruterbang menembak ke hadapan dengan empat senapang berkaliber .50 yang dipasang di hidung, dua lagi M2 menembak ke hadapan yang dipasang di satu atau dua lepuh di kedua-dua bahagian badan pesawat. Berat dijimatkan dengan menghapus stesen juruterbang dan memasukkan meriam T13E-1 75-milimeter dengan tong yang lebih nipis.

Apabila anda menambahkan semua senapang mesin pertahanan, ini bermaksud beberapa B-25Hs memasang senjata berkaliber 14,50 yang tidak masuk akal. Model baru itu juga dapat membawa lapan roket berkelajuan tinggi di rak sayap yang dapat ditembakkan dengan cepat dalam menyelamatkan nyawa.

B-25 memasuki perkhidmatan dengan skuadron di Angkatan Udara Timur Jauh pada bulan Februari 1944, di mana sebuah konsensus muncul bahawa senapang dan roket berkaliber .50 jauh lebih praktikal untuk menghancurkan kapal-kapal kecil yang ditemui di teater daripada meriam besar. Walaupun begitu, beberapa Mitchell akhirnya menerima radar penargetan untuk membantu merentasi kapal musuh. Unit laut juga menerima B-25H dengan radar APS-3 hujung sayap yang ditetapkan sebagai PBJ-1Hs.

Pada akhirnya, pengebom bersenjata meriam gagal menang bukan kerana tidak dapat dilakukan, tetapi kerana itu bukan penyelesaian yang paling efisien untuk pekerjaan itu. Bagaimanapun, meriam adalah kaedah yang menjimatkan kos untuk mempertahankan rentetan dari masa ke masa - tetapi juruterbang tempur sering hanya mempunyai masa yang singkat untuk menghabiskan senjata mereka. Dalam keadaan seperti itu, lebih baik melepaskan roket 3 "dalam beberapa saat daripada melepaskan tembakan dengan meriam yang lebih perlahan.

Namun, setiap peraturan mempunyai pengecualiannya. Hari ini, Tentera Udara A.S. mengoperasikan kapal tempur AC-130 yang melengkung dengan seberat 105 milimeter yang lebih besar yang bertujuan untuk terbang dalam lingkaran perlahan di zon pertempuran, meletupkan sasaran di bawah masa lapang.

Sébastien Roblin memiliki Ijazah Sarjana dalam Penyelesaian Konflik dari Universiti Georgetown dan berkhidmat sebagai tenaga pengajar universiti untuk Peace Corps di China. Dia juga pernah bekerja di bidang pendidikan, penyuntingan, dan penempatan semula pengungsi di Perancis dan Amerika Syarikat. Artikel ini pertama kali muncul tahun lalu.


Amerika Utara B-25G Mitchell - Sejarah

Sesuai dengan cadangan Pusat Kawalan Penyakit, Jabatan Kesihatan Awam California, Jabatan Kesihatan Daerah San Bernardino, KAMI MEMUTUSKAN POSTPONE PERISTIWA INI. Terima kasih kepada semua orang atas sokongan dan pemahaman anda yang berterusan sepanjang masa yang mencabar ini.

APA: Terbuka kepada umum, Planes of Fame Air Museum (Chino, CA) menyajikan Hari Hidup Sejarah Terbang bulanan pada 4 April 2020, yang menampilkan Amerika Utara B-25 Mitchell. Panel penceramah pakar dan ahli sejarah penerbangan terkenal, diikuti dengan tempoh soal jawab dan demonstrasi penerbangan apabila mungkin. B-25 Amerika Utara Mitchell akan dipamerkan dan melakukan demonstrasi penerbangan (boleh berubah). Pada pukul 12:00 tengah hari, Penerbangan Raffle akan berlaku. Jadilah ahli untuk memasuki Raffle. Semua ahli layak memasuki Raffle, tetapi anda mesti hadir untuk menang.

Muzium ini dibuka untuk orang ramai, Kemasukan Umum adalah $ 15 untuk kanak-kanak berumur 11 tahun ke bawah, kemasukan adalah $ 6 berumur 4 tahun ke bawah adalah PERCUMA! (tidak termasuk acara khas). PERCUMA Kemasukan Sejarah Penerbangan Sejarah Hidup untuk Pesawat Ketenaran Ahli! Klik di sini untuk menjadi Ahli!

Klik di sini untuk mendapatkan kupon dengan harga $ 2.00 bagi satu kemasukan orang dewasa untuk acara ini! (bila ada)


UCAPAN ACARA:


Kevin Thompson
(POF Moderator dan Sejarawan Penerbangan) menyederhanakan acara dan menambah persembahan.

KENAPA: Ini adalah Mission of Planes of Fame Air Museum untuk memelihara sejarah penerbangan, memberi inspirasi minat dalam penerbangan, mendidik orang ramai, dan penghormatan perintis penerbangan dan veteran. Muzium menaja acara berkala dalam bentuk pengalaman inspirasi, presentasi pendidikan, demonstrasi penerbangan, dan pertunjukan udara untuk memenuhi misi ini.

Muzium Pesawat Fame Air, & lsquoTempat Sejarah Penerbangan Terbang& rsquo


Amerika Utara B-25G Mitchell - Sejarah

TB-25J Amerika Utara & ldquoMitchell & rdquo
Pengebom / pelatih medium mesin berkembar USAAF WWII

The North American B-25 Mitchell adalah pengebom medium mesin berkembar Amerika yang dihasilkan oleh North American Aviation. Itu digunakan oleh banyak angkatan udara Sekutu, di setiap teater Perang Dunia II, serta banyak pasukan udara lain setelah perang berakhir, dan menyaksikan perkhidmatan selama empat dekad.

B-25 dinamakan sebagai penghormatan kepada Jeneral Billy Mitchell, pelopor penerbangan ketenteraan A.S. Pada akhir pengeluarannya, hampir 10,000 B-25 dalam banyak model telah dibina. Ini termasuk beberapa variasi terhad, seperti pengebom peronda PBJ-1 Angkatan Laut Amerika Syarikat dan Korps Marinir dan pesawat pengintipan foto F-10 Angkatan Udara Amerika Syarikat.

Gambar Arkib 2,3

Imej dari Arkib Skytamer

TB-25J Amerika Utara Mitchell & ldquo Bibi Jayne & rdquo (AF 44-86797, c / n 108-47551, NL3438G, 1944) dipamerkan (11/20/2011) di Muzium Penerbangan Lauridsen, Buckeye, Arizona (Foto oleh AFIA, 11 / 20/2011)

Reka Bentuk dan Pembangunan & sup1

B-25 adalah keturunan dari projek XB-21 (NA-39 Amerika Utara) yang lebih awal pada pertengahan tahun 1930-an. Pengalaman yang diperoleh dalam mengembangkan pesawat itu akhirnya digunakan oleh Amerika Utara dalam merancang B-25 (disebut NA-40 oleh syarikat). Satu NA-40 dibina, dengan beberapa pengubahsuaian kemudian dilakukan untuk menguji sejumlah kemungkinan peningkatan. Peningkatan ini merangkumi mesin radial Wright R-2600, yang akan menjadi standard pada B-25 yang kemudian.

Pada tahun 1939, NA-40B yang diubah dan diperbaiki diserahkan kepada Kor Udara Tentera Darat Amerika Syarikat untuk dinilai. Pesawat ini pada awalnya dimaksudkan untuk menjadi pengebom serangan untuk dieksport ke Britania Raya dan Perancis, yang keduanya memiliki syarat mendesak untuk pesawat tersebut pada tahap awal Perang Dunia II. Namun, negara-negara tersebut berubah pikiran, memilih Douglas DB-7 yang baru (kemudian digunakan oleh A.S. sebagai Havoc A-20). Walaupun kehilangan penjualan ini, NA-40B kembali menjadi sorotan ketika Army Air Corps menilai ia digunakan sebagai pengebom sederhana. Malangnya, NA-40B hancur dalam kemalangan pada 11 April 1939. Walaupun begitu, jenis itu diperintahkan untuk dihasilkan, bersama dengan pengebom medium baru Tentera Darat, Martin B-26 Marauder.

Pengeluaran Awal & sup1

Peningkatan NA-40B, yang dijuluki NA-62, adalah asas bagi B-25 yang pertama. Oleh kerana keperluan untuk pengebom sederhana oleh Tentera Darat, tidak ada versi percubaan atau ujian perkhidmatan yang dibina. Segala modifikasi yang diperlukan dilakukan semasa proses pengeluaran, atau ke pesawat yang ada di pusat modifikasi lapangan di seluruh dunia.

Perubahan yang ketara pada awal produksi B-25 adalah reka bentuk semula sayap. Dalam sembilan pesawat pertama, sayap berdiameter malar digunakan, di mana sayap mempunyai sudut ke atas yang konsisten, lurus, sedikit dari badan pesawat ke hujung sayap. Reka bentuk ini menyebabkan masalah kestabilan, dan sebagai hasilnya, sudut dihedral dibatalkan pada bahagian sayap luar, memberikan B-25 konfigurasi sayapnya sedikit gull. Perubahan yang kurang ketara dalam jangka masa ini termasuk peningkatan ukuran sirip ekor dan penurunan cantum masuknya.

Sebanyak 6,608 B-25 dibina di kilang Fairfax Airport Amerika Utara di Kansas City, Kansas.

Keturunan B-25 adalah Amerika Utara XB-28, yang dimaksudkan sebagai versi ketinggian B-25. Walaupun terdapat premis ini, pesawat sebenarnya tidak banyak menyerupai Mitchell. Itu lebih banyak persamaan dengan Martin B-26 Marauder.

Sejarah Operasi & sup1

Sebilangan besar B-25 dalam perkhidmatan Amerika digunakan di Pasifik. Ia bertempur di Papua New Guinea, di Burma dan di pulau hopping kempen di Pasifik tengah. Di Pasifik, potensi pesawat sebagai pesawat serangan darat ditemukan dan dikembangkan. Lingkungan hutan mengurangkan kegunaan pengeboman tahap standard, dan menjadikan serangan tingkat rendah sebagai taktik terbaik. Jumlah senapan tembak maju yang terus meningkat adalah tindak balas terhadap persekitaran operasi ini, menjadikan B-25 sebagai pesawat strafing yang hebat.

Di Burma, B-25 sering digunakan untuk menyerang hubungan komunikasi Jepun, terutama jambatan di tengah Burma. Itu juga digunakan untuk membantu membekalkan pasukan yang terkepung di Imphal pada tahun 1944.

Di Pasifik, B-25 membuktikan dirinya sebagai senjata anti-pengiriman yang sangat mampu, menenggelamkan banyak kapal yang digunakan untuk memperkuatkan kedudukan Jepun. Kemudian dalam perang Pasifik jarak antara pulau membatasi kegunaan B-25, walaupun digunakan untuk melawan Guam dan Tinian. Itu juga digunakan untuk melawan pulau-pulau yang dijajah Jepang yang telah dilewati oleh kampanye utama, seperti yang terjadi di Kepulauan Marshall.

Timur Tengah dan Itali

B-25 pertama tiba di Mesir tepat pada masanya untuk mengambil bahagian dalam Pertempuran El Alamein. Dari sana pesawat mengambil bahagian dalam sisa kempen di Afrika Utara, pencerobohan di Sicily dan kemajuan ke Itali. Di Itali B-25 digunakan dalam peran serangan darat, berkonsentrasi pada serangan terhadap jalan raya dan rel kereta api di Itali, Austria dan Balkan. B-25 memiliki jarak yang lebih panjang daripada Douglas A-20 Havoc dan Douglas A-26 Invaders, yang memungkinkannya menjangkau lebih jauh ke Eropah yang dijajah. Lima kumpulan pengebom yang menggunakan B-25 di padang pasir dan Itali adalah satu-satunya unit A.S. yang menggunakan B-25 di Eropah.

Tentera Udara Kelapan A.S., yang berpusat di Britain, bertumpu pada serangan jarak jauh ke atas Jerman dan Eropah yang dijajah. Walaupun ia memiliki sejumlah kecil unit yang dilengkapi dengan pesawat enjin berkembar, B-25 tidak termasuk di antara mereka. Namun, RAF menerima hampir 900 Mitchells, menggunakannya untuk menggantikan pengebom Douglas Bostons, Lockheed Venturas dan Vickers Wellington. Mitchell memasuki perkhidmatan RAF aktif pada 22 Januari 1943. Pada mulanya ia digunakan untuk mengebom sasaran strategik di Eropah yang dijajah. Selepas pencerobohan D-Day, RAF menggunakan Mitchells untuk menyokong tentera di Eropah, memindahkan beberapa skuadron untuk meneruskan pangkalan udara di Perancis dan Belgium.

B-25 pertama kali mendapat kemasyhuran sebagai pengebom yang digunakan pada 18 April 1942 Doolittle Raid, di mana enam belas pasukan B-25B yang dipimpin oleh Leftenan Kolonel Jimmy Doolittle menyerang daratan Jepun, empat bulan setelah pengeboman Pearl Harbor. Misi ini memberi semangat yang sangat diperlukan kepada orang Amerika, dan membuat para jaguh Jepang yang percaya bahawa pulau-pulau asal mereka tidak dapat dilawan oleh pasukan musuh. Walaupun jumlah kerusakan yang sebenarnya dilakukan agak kecil, ini memaksa pihak Jepun untuk mengalihkan pasukan untuk pertahanan rumah untuk sisa perang. Penyerang itu berlepas dari kapal induk USS Hornet and successfully bombed Tokyo and four other Japanese cities without loss. However, fifteen B-25B bombers subsequently crash-landed en route to recovery fields in Eastern China. These losses were the result of the task force being spotted by a Japanese vessel forcing the bombers to take off 170 mi (270 km) early, fuel exhaustion, stormy nighttime conditions with zero visibility, and lack of electronic homing aids at the recovery bases. Only one B-25B bomber landed intact it came down in the Soviet Union, where its five-man crew was interned and the aircraft confiscated. Of the 80 aircrew, 69 survived their historic mission and eventually made it Back to American lines.

Following a number of additional modifications, including the addition of Plexiglas windows for the navigator and radio operator, heavier nose armament, and deicing and anti-icing equipment, the B-25C was released to the Army. This was the second mass-produced version of the Mitchell, the first being the lightly armed B-25B used by the Doolittle Raiders. The B-25C and B-25D differed only in location of manufacture: B-25C's at Inglewood, California, B-25D's at Kansas City, Kansas. A total of 3,915 B-25C's and B-25D's were built by North American during World War II.

Although the B-25 was originally designed to bomb from medium altitudes in level flight, it was used frequently in the Southwest Pacific theater (SWPA) on treetop-level strafing and parafrag (parachute-retarded fragmentation bombs) missions against Japanese airfields in New Guinea and the Philippines. These heavily armed Mitchells, field-modified at Townsville, Australia, by Major Paul I. "Pappy" Gunn and North American tech rep Jack Fox, were also used on strafing and skip-bombing missions against Japanese shipping trying to resupply their land-based armies. Under the leadership of Lieutenant General George C. Kenney, B-25's of the Fifth and Thirteenth Air Forces devastated Japanese targets in the Southwest Pacific theater from 1942 to 1945, and played a significant role in pushing the Japanese Back to their home islands. B-25's were also used with devastating effect in the Central Pacific, Alaska, North Africa, Mediterranean and China-Burma-India (CBI) theaters.

Because of the urgent need for hard-hitting strafer aircraft, the B-25G was developed, in which the standard-length transparent nose and the bombardier were replaced by a shorter solid nose containing two fixed 0.50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns and a 75 mm (2.95 in) M4 cannon, one of the largest weapons fitted to an aircraft, similar to the experimental British Mosquito Mk. XVIII, and German Ju.88P heavy cannon carrying aircraft. The cannon was manually loaded and serviced by the navigator, who was able to perform these operations without leaving his crew station just behind the pilot. This was possible due to the shorter nose of the B-25G and the length of the M4, which allowed the breech to extend into the navigator's compartment.

The B-25G's successor, the B-25H, had even more firepower. The M4 gun was replaced by the lighter T13E1, designed specifically for the aircraft. The 75 mm (2.95 in) gun fired at a muzzle velocity of 2,362 ft/s (about 720 m/s). Due to its low rate of fire (approximately four rounds could be fired in a single strafing run) and relative ineffectiveness against ground targets, as well as substantial recoil, the 75 mm (2.95 in) gun was sometimes removed from both B-25G and B-25H models and replaced with two additional 0.50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns as a field modification. Besides that, the B-25H normally mounted four fixed forward-firing 0.50 (12.7 mm) machine guns in the nose, four more fixed ones in forward-firing cheek blisters, two more in the manned dorsal turret, one each in a pair of new waist positions, and a final pair in a new tail gunner's position. Company promotional material bragged the B-25H could "bring to bear 10 machine guns coming and four going, in addition to the 75 mm cannon, a brace of eight rockets and 3,000 lb (1,360 kg) of bombs."

The B-25H also featured a redesigned cockpit area, required by the dorsal turret having been relocated forward to the navigator's compartment - just aft of the cockpit and just ahead of the leading edge wing roots, thus requiring the addition of the waist and tail gun positions - and a heavily modified cockpit designed to be operated by a single pilot, the co-pilot's station and controls deleted, and the seat cut down and used by the navigator/cannoneer, the radio operator being moved to the aft compartment, operating the waist guns. A total of 405 B-25G's and 1,000 B-25H's were built, the 248 of the latter being used by Navy as PBJ-1H.

The final and the most built version of the Mitchell, the B-25J, looked much like the earlier B-25B, B-25C and B-25D, having reverted to the longer, glazed bombardier's nose, but with the B-25H's relocated-forward dorsal manned turret. The less-than-successful 75 mm (2.95 in) cannon was deleted. Instead, 800 of this version were built with a solid nose containing eight 0.50 (12.7 mm) machine guns, while other B-25J's featured the earlier "greenhouse" style nose containing the bombardier's position. Regardless of the nose style used, all B-25J's also included two 0.50 in (12.7 mm) guns in a "fuselage package" located directly under the pilot's station, and two more such guns in an identical package just under the co-pilot's compartment, with the co-pilot's seat and flight controls restored to their previous locations. The solid-nose B-25J variant carried an impressive total of 18 0.50 in (12.7 mm) light-barrel AN/M2 Browning M2 machine guns: eight in the nose, four in under-cockpit conformal gun pod packages, two in the dorsal turret, one each in the pair of waist positions, and a pair in the tail - with fourteen of the guns either aimed directly forward, or aimable to fire directly forward for strafing missions. No other main series production bomber of World War II carried as many guns. The first 555 B-25J's (the B-25J-1-NC production block) were delivered without the fuselage package guns, because it was discovered that muzzle blast from these guns was causing severe stress in the fuselage this problem was cured with heavier fuselage skin patches. Although later production runs returned these fuselage package guns to the aircraft, they were often removed as a field modification for the same reason. Later B-25J's were additionally armed with eight 5 in (130 mm) high velocity aircraft rockets (HVAR). In all, 4,318 B-25J's were built.

Flight Characteristics

The B-25 was a safe and forgiving aircraft to fly. With an engine out, 60° banking turns into the dead engine were possible, and control could be easily maintained down to 145 mph (230 km/h). However, the pilot had to remember to maintain engine-out directional control at low speeds after takeoff with rudder if this maneuver was attempted with ailerons, the aircraft would snap out of control. The tricycle landing gear made for excellent visibility while taxiing. The only significant complaint about the B-25 was the extremely high noise level produced by its engines as a result, many pilots eventually suffered from various degrees of hearing loss. The high noise level was due to design and space restrictions in the engine cowlings which resulted in the exhaust "stacks" protruding directly from the cowling ring and partly covered by a small triangular fairing. This arrangement directed exhaust and noise directly at the pilot and crew compartments. Crew members and operators on the airshow circuit frequently comment that "the B-25 is the fastest way to turn aviation fuel directly into noise". Many B-25's now in civilian ownership have been modified with exhaust rings that direct the exhaust through the outboard bottom section of the cowling.

The Mitchell was an amazingly sturdy aircraft that could withstand tremendous punishment. One well-known B-25C of the 321st Bomb Group was nicknamed "Patches" because its crew chief painted all the aircraft's flak hole patches with high-visibility zinc chromate primer. By the end of the war, this aircraft had completed over 300 missions, was belly-landed six times and sported over 400 patched holes. The airframe was so bent askew that straight-and-level flight required 8° of left aileron trim and 6° of right rudder, causing the aircraft to "crab" sideways across the sky.

An interesting characteristic of the B-25 was its ability to extend range by using one-quarter wing flap settings. Since the aircraft normally cruised in a slightly nose-high attitude, about 40 gal (150 liters) of fuel was below the fuel pickup point and thus unavailable for use. The flaps-down setting gave the aircraft a more level flight attitude, which resulted in this fuel becoming available, thus slightly extending the aircraft's range.

By the time a separate United States Air Force was established in 1947, most B-25's had been consigned to long-term storage. However, a select number continued in service through the late 1940's and 1950's in a variety of training, reconnaissance and support roles. Its principal use during this period was for undergraduate training of multi-engine aircraft pilots slated for reciprocating engine or turboprop cargo, aerial refueling or reconnaissance aircraft. Still others were assigned to units of the Air National Guard in training roles in support of Northrop F-89 Scorpion and Lockheed F-94 Starfire operations. TB-25J-25-NC Mitchell, AF 44-30854, the last B-25 in the USAF inventory, assigned at March AFB, California as of March 1960, was flown to Eglin AFB, Florida, from Turner Air Force Base, Georgia, on 21 May 1960, the last flight by a USAF B-25, and presented by Brig. Gen. A. J. Russell, Commander of SAC's 822d Air Division at Turner AFB, to the Air Proving Ground Center Commander, Brig. Gen. Robert H. Warren, who in turn presented the bomber to Valparaiso, Florida Mayor Randall Roberts on behalf of the Niceville-Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce. Four of the original Tokyo Raiders were present for the ceremony, Col. Davy Jones, Col. Jack Simms, Lt. Col. Joseph Manske, and retired Master Sgt. Edwin W. Horton. It was donated Back to the Air Force Armament Museum c.1974 and marked as Doolittle's AF 40-2344.

Today, many B-25's are kept in airworthy condition by air museums and collectors.

The PBJ-1 was a navalized version of the USAAF B-25. It had its origin in a deal cut in mid-1942 between the Navy and the USAAF. As part of the deal, 50 B-25C's and 152 B-25D's were transferred to the Navy from the USAAF. The bombers carried Navy serial numbers beginning with BuNo 34998. The first PBJ-1's arrived in February 1943. They were used by Marine Corps pilots, beginning with VMB-413. Many of them were equipped with a search radar with a retractable radome fitted in place of the ventral turret.

Large numbers of B-25H and B-25J variants were delivered to the Navy as PBJ-1H and PBJ-1J respectively. These aircraft joined, but did not necessarily replace, the earlier PBJ's.

The PBJ's were operated almost exclusively by the Marine Corps as land-based bombers. To operate them, the U.S. Marine Corps established a number of bomber squadrons, beginning with VMB-413, in March 1943 at Cherry Point, North Carolina. Eight VMB squadrons were flying PBJ's by the end of 1943, forming the initial Marine Medium Bombardment Group. Four more squadrons were in the process of formation in late 1945, but had not yet deployed by the time the war ended.

Operational use of the Marine Corps PBJ-1's began in March 1944. The Marine PBJ's operated from the Philippines, Saipan, Iwo Jima and Okinawa during the last few months of the Pacific war. Their primary mission was the long range interdiction of enemy shipping that was trying to run the blockade which was strangling Japan. The weapon of choice during these missions was usually the five-inch HVAR rocket, eight of which could be carried on underwing racks. Many of the PBJ-1C and PBJ-1D versions carried a rather ugly, bulbous antenna for an APS-3 search radar sticking out of the upper part of the transparent nose. On the PBJ-1H and PBJ-1J, the APS-3 search radar antenna was usually housed inside a ventral or wingtip radome. Some PBJ-1J's had their top turrets removed to save weight, especially toward the end of the war when Japanese fighters had become relatively scarce.

After World War Two, some PBJ's were stationed at the Navy's rocket laboratory at Inyokern, California to test various air to ground rockets and arrangements including a twin barrel nose arrangement that could fire ten spin stabilized 5 inch rockets in one salvo.

The Royal Air Force (RAF) was an early customer for the B-25 via Lend-Lease. The RAF was the only force to use the B-25 on raids against Europe from bases in the United Kingdom, as the USAAF used the Martin B-26 Marauder for this purpose instead.

The first Mitchells were designated "Mitchell I" by the RAF and were delivered in August 1941, to No 111 Operational Training Unit based in the Bahamas. These bombers were used exclusively for training and familiarization and never achieved operational status. The B-25C's and B-25D's were designated "Mitchell II," altogether, 167 B-25C's and 371 B-25D's were delivered to the RAF.

A total of 93 "Mitchell I's" and "Mitchell II's" had been delivered to the RAF by the end of 1942 and served with No. 2 Group RAF, the RAF's tactical medium bomber force. The first RAF operation with the "Mitchell II" took place on 22 January 1943, when six aircraft from No. 180 Squadron RAF attacked oil installations at Ghent. After the invasion of Europe, all four Mitchell squadrons moved to bases in France and Belgium (Melsbroek) to support Allied ground forces. The British Mitchell squadrons were joined by No. 342 (Lorraine) Squadron of the French Air Force in April 1945.

No. 305 (Polish) Squadron flew "Mitchell II's" from September to December 1943 before transitioning to Mosquitos. In addition to the 2nd Group, the B-25 was used by various second-line RAF units in the UK and abroad. In the Far East, No. 3 PRU, which consisted of Nos. 681 and 684 Squadrons, flew the Mitchell (primarily Mk.II's) on photographic reconnaissance sorties.

The RAF was allocated 316 B-25J's which entered service as the "Mitchell III." Deliveries took place between August 1944 and August 1945. However, only about 240 of these bombers actually reached Britain, with some being diverted to No. 111 OTU in the Bahamas, some crashing during delivery and some being retained in the United States.

Tentera Udara Diraja Kanada

The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) was an important user of the B-25 Mitchell, although most of the RCAF use of the Mitchell was postwar. The first B-25's for the RCAF had originally been diverted to Canada from RAF orders. These included one "Mitchell I," 42 "Mitchell II's", and 19 "Mitchell III's." No. 13 (P) Squadron was formed unofficially at Rockcliffe in May 1944. They operated "Mitchell II's" on high altitude aerial photography sorties. They retained the Mitchell until October 1948.

No. 418 (Auxiliary) Squadron received its first "Mitchell II's" in January 1947. It was followed by No. 406 (auxiliary) which flew "Mitchell III's" from April 1947 to June 1958. No. 418 Operated a mix of "Mitchell II's" and "Mitchell III's" until March 1958. No. 12 Squadron of Air Transport Command also flew "Mitchell III's" along with other types from September 1956 to November 1960. In 1951, the RCAF received an additional 75 B-25J's from USAF stocks to make good attrition and to equip various second line units.

Royal Australian Air Force

The Australians got Mitchells by the spring of 1944. The joint Australian-Dutch No. 18 (Netherlands East Indies) Squadron RAAF had more than enough Mitchells for one squadron so the surplus went to re-equip the RAAF's No. 2 Squadron, replacing their Beauforts.

During the World War II, the Mitchell served in fairly large numbers with the Air Force of the Dutch government-in-exile. They participated in combat both in the East Indies as well as on the European front. On 30 June 1941, the Netherlands Purchasing Commission, acting on behalf of the Dutch government in exile in London, signed contract with North American Aviation for 162 B-25C aircraft. The bombers were to be delivered to the Netherlands East Indies to help deter any Japanese aggression into the region.

In February 1942, the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) agreed to ferry 20 of the Dutch B-25's from Florida to Australia via Africa and India, and an additional 10 via the South Pacific route from California. During March, five of the bombers on the Dutch order had reached Bangalore, India and 12 had reached Archerfield in Australia. It was agreed that the B-25's in Australia would be used as the nucleus of a new squadron, designated No. 18. This squadron would be staffed jointly by Australian and Dutch aircrews plus a smattering of aircrews from other nations, but would operate at least initially under Royal Australian Air Force command. However, the B-25's of No. 18 Squadron would be painted with the Dutch national insignia (at this time a rectangular Netherlands flag) and would carry NEIAF serials. Discounting the 10 "temporary" B-25's delivered to 18 Squadron in early 1942, a total of 150 Mitchells were taken on strength by the NEIAF, 19 in 1942, 16 in 1943, 87 in 1944, and 28 in 1945. They flew bombing raids against Japanese targets in the East Indies. In 1944, the more capable B-25J Mitchell replaced most of the earlier B-25C and B-25D models.

In June 1940, No. 320 Squadron RAF had been formed from personnel formerly serving with the Royal Dutch Naval Air Service who had escaped to England after the German occupation of the Netherlands. Equipped with various British aircraft, No. 320 Squadron flew anti-submarine patrols, convoy escort missions, and performed air-sea rescue duties. They acquired the "Mitchell II" in September 1943, performing operations over Europe against gun emplacements, railway yards, bridges, troops and other tactical targets. They moved to Belgium in October 1944, and transitioned to the "Mitchell III" in 1945. No. 320 Squadron was disbanded in August 1945. Following the war, B-25's were used in a vain attempt of the Dutch to retain control of Indonesia.

The U.S. supplied 862 B-25's comprised of B-25B, B-25D, B-25G and B-25J aircraft to the Soviet Union under Lend-Lease during the Second World War via the Alaska-Siberia ALSIB ferry route.

Other damaged aircraft arrived or crashed in the Far East of Russia, and one Doolittle Raid aircraft landed there short of fuel after attacking Japan. It is not known what happened to these latter aircraft. In general, the B-25 was operated as a ground support and tactical daylight bomber (as similar Douglas A-20 Havocs were used). It saw action in fights from Stalingrad (with B-25B and B-25D models) to the German surrender during May 1945 with (B-25G and B-25J types).

Well over 100 B-25C's and B-25D's were supplied to the Nationalist Chinese during the Second World War. In addition, a total of 131 B-25J's were supplied to China under Lend-Lease.

The four squadrons of the 1st BG (1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th) of the 1st Medium Bomber Group were formed during the War. They formerly operated Russian-built Tupolev SB bombers, then transferred to the B-25. The 1st BG was under the command of CACW (Chinese-American Composite Wing) while operating B-25. Following the end of the war in the Pacific, these four bombardment squadrons were established to fight against the Communist insurgency that was rapidly spreading throughout the country. During the civil war, Chinese Mitchells fought alongside de Havilland Mosquitos.

In December 1948, the Nationalists were forced to move to the island of Taiwan, taking many of their Mitchells with them. However, some B-25's were left behind and were impressed into service with the air force of the new People's Republic of China.

During the war, the Força Aérea Brasileira (FAB) received a few B-25's under Lend-Lease. Brazil declared war against the Axis powers in August 1942 and participated in the war against the U-boats in the southern Atlantic. The last Brazilian B-25 was finally declared surplus in 1970.

At least 21 "Mitchell III's" were issued by the Royal Air Force to No. 342 Squadron, which was made up primarily of Free French aircrews.

Following the liberation of France, this squadron was transferred to the newly formed French air force (Armée de l'Air) as GB I/20 Lorraine. These aircraft were operated by GB I/20 after the war, some being converted from bomber configuration into fast VIP transports. They were finally struck off charge in June 1947.

  • Royal Canadian Air Force - bomber, light transport, training aircraft, "special" mission roles
    • 13 Squadron ("Mitchell II")

      People's Liberation Army Air Force operated captured Nationalist Chinese aircraft.

      Indonesian Air Force received some B-25 Mitchells from Netherlands, the last example retired in 1979.

    Eight Mexican civil registrations were allocated to B-25's, including one aircraft registered to the Bank of Mexico but used by the President of Mexico.

    Royal Netherlands East Indies Army Air Force - Postwar

      Peruvian Aeronautical Corps (CAP) received 8 B-25J's in 1947, which formed Bomber Squadron N° 21 at Talara.

      Polish Air Forces on exile in Great Britain
        No. 305 Polish Bomber Squadron

        Spanish Air Force former USAAF serial number 41-30338 interned in 1944 and operated between 1948 and 1956.

        Soviet Air Force (Voyenno-Vozdushnye Sily or VVS) received a total of 866 B-25's including B-25C, B-25D, B-25G and B-25J models).

      Empire State Building Incident ¹

      On Saturday, 28 July 1945, at 0940 (while flying in thick fog), a USAAF B-25D crashed into the north side of the Empire State Building, hitting between the 79th and 80th floor. A total of 14 people were killed 11 in the building, along with Colonel William Smith and the other two occupants of the bomber. Betty Lou Oliver, an elevator attendant, survived the impact and a subsequent uncontrolled descent with the elevator. It was partly because of this incident that Towers 1 and 2 of the World Trade Center were designed to withstand the impact of a Boeing 707 aircraft (although the aircraft that hit the towers on 11 September 2001 had significantly higher masses and were traveling at substantially higher speeds).

      Bomber Variants

      NA-40: Twin-engine five seat bomber to meet 1938 USAAF requirement for attack bomber. Powered by two 1,100 hp (825 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-1830-56C3G radials. Wingspan 66 ft (20.12 m), length 48 ft 3 in (14.71 m) length. First flew on 29 January 1939 but proved to be underpowered and unstable.

      NA-40B: The NA-40B (also known as the NA-40-2) was a modification of the NA-40 prototype with two 1,600 hp (1,200 kW) Wright R-2600-A71-3 radials and numerous minor changes. First flew in revised form on 1 March 1939. Crashed 11 April 1940.

      B-25: Initial production version of B-25, powered by 1,350 hp (1,012 kW) R-2600-9 engines. Up to 3,600 lb (1,600 kg) bombs and defensive armament of three 0.30 machine guns in nose, waist and ventral positions, with one 0.50 machine gun in the tail. The first nine aircraft were built with constant dihedral angle. Due to low stability, the wing was redesigned so that the dihedral was eliminated on the outboard section. 24 built.

      B-25A: Version of the B-25 modified to make it combat ready additions included self-sealing fuel tanks, crew armor, and an improved tail gunner station. No changes were made in the armament. Re-designated obsolete (RB-25A) in 1942. 40 built.

      B-25B: Rear turret deleted aft-location (behind wing's trailing edge) manned dorsal and remotely-operated ventral turrets added, each with a pair of 0.50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns. The ventral turret was retractable, but the increased drag still reduced the cruise speed by 30 mph (48 km/h). 23 were delivered to the RAF as the "Mitchell Mk I." The Doolittle Raiders flew B-25B's on their famous mission. (Number made: 120.)

      B-25C: Improved version of the B-25B: powerplants upgraded from Wright R-2600-9 radials to R-2600-13's de-icing and anti-icing equipment added the navigator received a sighting blister nose armament was increased to two 0.50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns, one fixed and one flexible. The B-25C model was the first mass-produced B-25 version it was also used in the United Kingdom (as the "Mitchell II"), in Canada, China, the Netherlands, and the Soviet Union. First mass-produced B-25 model. (Number made: 1,625.)

      B-25D: Identical to the B-25C, the only difference was that the B-25D was made in Kansas City, Kansas, whereas the B-25C was made in Inglewood, California. First flew on 3 January 1942. (Number made: 2,290.)

      WB-25D: In 1944, four B-25D's were converted for weather reconnaissance by the 53d Weather Reconnaissance Squadron. Originally called the Army Hurricane Reconnaissance Unit, now called the "Hurricane Hunters". Weather recon first started in 1943 with the First Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, with flights on the North Atlantic ferry routes.

      XB-25E: Single B-25C modified to test de-icing and anti-icing equipment that circulated exhaust from the engines in chambers in the leading and trailing edges and empennage. The aircraft was tested for almost two years, beginning in 1942 while the system proved extremely effective, no production models were built that used it prior to the end of World War II. Many prop aircraft today use the XB-25E system. (Number made: 1, converted.)

      XB-25F-A: Modified B-25C that tested the use of insulated electrical de-icing coils mounted inside the wing and empennage leading edges as a de-icing system. The hot air de-icing system tested on the XB-25E was more practical. (Number made: 1, converted.)

      XB-25G: Modified B-25C in which the transparent nose was replaced by a solid one carrying two fixed 0.50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns and a 75 mm (2.95 in) M4 cannon, then the largest weapon ever carried on an American bomber. (Number made: 1, converted.)

      B-25G: To satisfy the dire need for ground-attack and strafing aircraft, the B-25G was made following the success of the prototype XB-25G. The production model featured increased armor and a greater fuel supply than the XB-25G. One B-25G was passed to the British, who gave it the name "Mitchell II" that had been used for the B-25C. (Number made: 420.)

      B-25H: An improved version of the B-25G. This version permanently relocated the manned dorsal turret to a more forward location on the fuselage, between the rear of the cockpit and the leading edge of the wings. It also featured two additional fixed 0.50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns in the nose and four in fuselage-mounted pods the heavy M4 cannon was replaced by a lighter 75 mm (2.95 in) T13E1. (Number made: 1,000 number left flying in the world: 1.)

      B-25J: The last production model of the B-25, often called a cross between the B-25C and the B-25H. It had a transparent nose, but many of the delivered aircraft were modified to have a solid nose. Most of its 14-18 machine guns were forward-facing for strafing missions. The RAF received 316 aircraft, which were known as the "Mitchell III." (Number made: 4,318.)

      CB-25J: Utility transport version.

      VB-25J: A number of B-25's were converted for use as staff and VIP transports. Henry H. Arnold and Dwight D. Eisenhower both used converted B-25J's as their personal transports.

      Trainer Variants

      Most models of the B-25 were used at some point as training aircraft.

      TB-25D: Originally designated AT-24A (Advanced Trainer, Model 24, Version A). Trainer modification of B-25D. In total, 60 AT-24's were built.

      TB-25G: Originally designated AT-24B. Trainer modification of B-25G.

      TB-25C: Originally designated AT-24C. Trainer modification of B-25C.

      TB-25J: Originally designated AT-24D. Trainer modification of B-25J. Another 600 B-25J's were modified after the war.

      TB-25K: Hughes E1 fire-control radar trainer (Hughes). (Number made: 117)

      TB-25L: Hayes pilot-trainer conversion. (Number made: 90)

      TB-25M: Hughes E5 fire-control radar trainer. (Number made: 40)

      TB-25N: Hayes navigator-trainer conversion. (Number made: 47)

      USN/USMC Variants

      PBJ-1C: Similar to the B-25C for the U.S. Navy often fitted with airborne search radar and used in the anti-submarine role.

      PBJ-1D: Similar to the B-25D for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps. Differed in having a single 0.50 in (12.7 mm) machine gun in the tail turret and waist gun positions similar to the B-25H. Often fitted with airborne search radar and used in the anti-submarine role.

      PBJ-1G: U.S. Navy/U.S. Marine Corps designation for the B-25G.

      PBJ-1H: U.S. Navy/U.S. Marine Corps designation for the B-25H.

      U.S. Navy designation for the B-25J-NC (Blocks -1 through -35) with improvements in radio and other equipment. Often fitted with "package guns" and wingtip search radar for the anti-shipping/anti-submarine role. One PBJ-1H was modified with carrier take-off and landing equipment and successfully tested on the USS Shangri-La, but the Navy did not continue development.

      North American B-25 "Mitchell" Production ³

      Survivors 5

      There are more than one hundred surviving North American B-25 Mitchells scattered over the world, mainly in the United States. Most of them are on static display in museums, but about 45 are still airworthy.

      A significant number of these were brought together for just a single movie, Catch-22, a 1970 war film adapted from the book of the same name by Joseph Heller. When Catch-22 began preliminary production, Paramount made a decision to hire the Tallmantz Aviation organization to obtain any available B-25's. Tallmantz president, Frank G. Tallman ended up finding war-surplus aircraft, and eventually gathered not only pilots to fly the aircraft but also a ground support crew to maintain the fleet.

      On 18 April 2010, 17 airworthy B-25's took off from the airfield behind the National Museum of the United States Air Force and flew over in formation to commemorate the 68th anniversary of the Doolittle Raid. Four of the surviving members of the Raid were in attendance for the reunion Cole, Griffin, Hite and Thatcher, although Hite departed before the flyover. Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley, Commander of Air Force Material Command General Donald Hoffman and the Director of the National Museum of the United States Air Force Major General (ret.) Charles Metcalf were there also.


      North American B-25G Mitchell - History

      Juruterbang 2nd Lt. Ted U. Hart, O-771709 (POW, survived) Chicago, IL
      Juruterbang Bersama 2nd Lt. Henry Gatewood, O-812542 (POW, survived) Holly Springs, MS
      Navigator 2nd Lt. Karl L. Ehlers, O-1017008 (POW, survived) Newton Falls, NY
      Engineer-Gunner SSgt Robert E. Bever, 17054635 (KIA, BR) Powell, WY
      Radio Cpl Calvin C. Beck, 15364114 (POW, survived) Louisville, KY
      Hancur May 27, 1945
      MACR 14524

      Aircraft History
      Built by North American Aviation (NAA) at Air Force Plant NC at Fairfax Field near Kansas City, KS. Delivered to the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-25J-10-NC Mitchel serial number 43-28152. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field the the South West Pacific Area (SWPA).

      Sejarah Perang
      On October 22, 1944 assigned to the 5th Air Force, 345th Bombardment Group 501st Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "Apache Princess". Assigned to pilot Ohnemus with crew chief Haller. When lost, engines R-2600-13 and R-2600-29 serial numbers 42-77302 and 43-32676. Weapon serial numbers noted in MACR 14524.

      Mission History
      On May 27, 1945 took off from Clark Field (Strip #1) on Luzon in the Philippines on a low level bombing mission armed with 500 pound bombs against Ensui Airfield and rail yard on Formosa (Taiwan). Weather was intermittent rain showers with a ceiling of only 800' and six mile visibility. Due to a navigational error, the squadron missed the target and instead attacked a sugar refinery at Mizukami and Meiji and a brick plant.

      At the start of the attack, this bomber was hit by anti-aircraft fire causing the left engine to catch fire. After releasing the bomb load over the rail road yard, Hart feathered the damaged engine but the propeller ran away and a fire started in the bomb bay. The B-25 clipped trees before crash landing into a rice field and came to rest near a drainage ditch with the tail intact upward with the nose and front half on fire.

      During the crash, SSgt Bever was trapped inside the aircraft and fatally wounded. The rest of the crew survived. After the crash, the downed B-25 was observed on the ground by B-25 piloted by 2nd Lt. Gordon McClain and reported. When this B-25 failed to return, the entire crew was listed as Missing In Action (MIA).

      Nasib Krew
      After the crash landing, Hart was knocked unconscious. The rest of the crew located Bever who was badly injured and trapped inside with a fire burning. Unable to help him, the rest of the crew departed the crash and attempted to escape eastwards into the mountains. Following an irrigation trench for an hour, they spotted Japanese soldiers and civilians with farm implements approaching and decided to give themselves up with their hands raised and became Prisoners Of War (POW).

      The aviators were taken to a nearby town were they were paraded as "war criminals" with crowds watching them, some spitting on them or hitting them with sticks. Afterwards, their hands were tied and bags placed over their heads and transported aboard several different trains over two before arriving at Taihoku (Taipei) city jail used as Kempeitai (military police) headquarters. The four were interrogated, stripped of their possessions and briefly questioned then placed into cells. In a nearby cell was Cpl John Shott radio-gunner aboard B-25J 44-30164.

      On May 30, 1945 pilot Hart was taken before two officers seated at a table including Captain Yoshino Nakano with an interpreter Cpl Kiyomi Kawai. Hart was informed he was on trail and his answers would determine his fate. Giving only his name, rank and serial number, he was accused of "indiscriminate bombing" and to placate them told the details of the mission he was shot down, assuming they already knew about it. The officer began screaming about his "indiscriminate bombing" and the guards restrained Hart and he was given water torture (water boarding) with a towel placed over his face and water poured over top until he passed out, then he was revived and questioned further. Hart managed to wrestle free but was knocked unconscious, then handcuffed and tortured twice more and he requested to be killed. Captain Nakano drew his sword and placed the point on his neck, but instead resumed water torture until he fell unconscious again, until slapped awake until and vomited. The guards then water boarded him and jumped on his stomach until he vomited and he passed out for the sixth time. Major Kiyoshi Aoki entered the room and ordered the interrogation stopped and he was placed in front of the major. Broken, Hart gave a full interrogation and the Japanese were satisfied and placed back into his cell.

      Afterwards, Hart was never interrogated again nor were any of his crew. For the remainder of the war, the crew languished in their cells until the end of the war. At the end of the Pacific War, he and other Allied prisoners were transported to a main camp then repatriated.

      Peringatan
      Bever was officially declared dead the day of the mission. Postwar, he was buried at Crown Hill Cemetery in Powell, WY.

      References
      Some sources list this aircraft as B-25 Mitchell 44-28152 incorrectly, this is B-24J-5-NT Liberator seral number.
      USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-25J-10-NC Mitchell 43-28152
      Missing Air Crew Report 14524 (MACR 14524) created May 29, 1945
      NARA World War II Prisoners of War Data File - Ted U. Hart Taiwan POW Camp #1 (Taihoku) 25-121
      NARA World War II Prisoners of War Data File - Henry Gatewood Dispatch Camp (Tokyo #3 - Kawasaki) 35-139
      NARA World War II Prisoners of War Data File - Karl L. Ehlers Taiwan POW Camp #1 (Taihoku) 25-121
      NARA World War II Prisoners of War Data File - Calvin C. Beck Tokyo POW Camp (Shinjuku) 35-140
      FindAGrave - Sgt Robert E Bever (grave photo)
      Warpath Across the Pacific pages 326-329, 378, 399

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      9 Replies to &ldquoMitchell&rdquo

      This is just the beginning of our new DAHS website, and time restricts how much information we can add initially. We hope to widen the scope of this website and we actively encourage visitors to contribute information, photographs, anecdotes and data that can add to the wealth of information about these important subjects. Please do post a comment on what you see here, or if we have made errors in our published material… we will be most happy to correct. If you have first hand knowledge of the the Mitchells operating from Dunsfold or were one of the 100’s that worked at Dunsfold during the second world war, then we’d like to hear from you.

      interesting my dad was a air gunner in 98 th raf mainly kiwis and aussies told me many stories about air raids over france he did over 21 raids and survived lucky man still have his log book and many bits of flack he bought home after the war cheers glenn Jarvis new zealand

      Hi Glenn Can you scan a few pages from his log book? These sort of artefacts do help others in tracing their own family’s history – especially when it links them to other crew members.


      Republic P-47 Thunderbolt

      Developed from a succession of prewar Seversky and Kartveli designs, the Republic P-47 was conceived and built for the Army Air Corps as a high-altitude interceptor. Its awesome battery of eight .50 caliber machine guns was meant to destroy hostile bombers ironically, however, the Thunderbolt would make much of its reputation as a low-level attack aircraft. They were frequently flown by Tuskegee Airmen.

      Many had cut their teeth on the P-47D/G during pre-deployment fighter lead-in training. The pilots considered the “N” model to be a great fighter – even surpassing the highly regarded P-51 Mustang. Although the P-47N did not match the Mustang’s roll-rate, it had greater endurance due to its having been designed for ultra-long-range bomber escort missions over Pacific waters. Indeed, the wings had been elongated and strengthened to accommodate extra fuel.

      The “N” model was powered by an uprated Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp engine. The cockpit was spacious and ergonomic by the standards of the day. To top things off, the last of the Thunderbolt breed had an autopilot, an augmentation that was notable for easing pilot workload on long missions. Taken together, these elements produced a regal effect for the pilot.

      The type held great promise in its planned role. However, once the P-47N reached Pacific squadrons in 1945 it saw minimal action escorting B-29 Superfortresses. The war against Japan ended abruptly with the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in early August. In the immediate postwar years, the Air Force kept some of the planes in active units as a bridge to the next generation fighters which were practically all jets.

      The P-47D was clocked at 429 mph at twenty-nine thousand feet. In 1944, when nearly half of all Thunderbolts were built, a representative D model cost $85,578, or thirty-four thousand dollars more than a Mustang.

      Total Thunderbolt acceptances were 15,585 from 1941 to 1945. Other users included the RAF, the Free French air arm, and (in limited numbers) the Soviet air force.

      This article is part of our collection historical resources on the Tuskegee Airmen. Click here for our comprehensive blog post on the Tuskegee Airmen.