B-25 Mitchell (Walk Around 5512)
By Lou Drendel
Publisher: Squadron/Signal Publications 1997 82 Pages
PDF 20 MB
It was far and away the most popular medium bomber of" World War II. It was named for the father of modern aerial bombardment. General Billy Mitchell, who sacrificed his career to prove that airplanes would have a significant impact on future wars. Nearly 10.000 B-25s were built during the war. Most were operated by the U.S. Army Air Corps, but versions were also flown by the US Navy and Marine Corps.
It fought in virtually every theater in World War II. performing a diverse series of missions, from medium altitude bombardment to low-altitude strafing, photo reconnaissance and as a VIP transport. It flew the first high-profile mission of the war — Jimmy Doolittle's daring daylight raid on Tokyo on April 18, 1942, which gave Americans a huge morale boost just when it was needed the most. Unlike many of its contemporaries, the B-25 soldiered on well after the war, surviving the change from US Army Air Corps to US Air Force, serving as a trainer and transport for nearly 20 years after the end of the war.
All of the B-25s illustrated on the following pages are C, D. G. H. or J models or modifications of these models. The details shown are for the most heavily produced versions, the H model gunship, and the J model bomber. The H model illustrated is the only flying B-25H in the world, undergoing an extensive and diligent restoration process. It is currently operated by a small group of enthusiasts who have dubbed themselves the "Weary Warriors".
The J model details are from a variety of the most widely produced version, which has survived in relatively large numbers, due in large part to it's continued use by the USAF into the 1960s. The best example of a restored survivor is the magnificent restoration owned by the Cavanaugh Museum in Texas, dubbed "How Boot That?" This is an actual combat veteran which carries the same scheme it did 50 years ago during World War II.
The B-25 became the most widely used medium bomber of WW II because of it's adaptability and durability. It flew a great variety of missions in all climates against all enemies and is one of the most widely recognized bombers of that era.
This book is a mixture of period photos illustrating the B-25 in military service, both wartime and post-war, and the many restored examples that have been brought back to flying status. Most of the detail photos are of restored Mitchell's. Some have been restored to a remarkable level of authenticity. Most have incorporated various degrees of compromise to modern operational realities. These are most evident in the area of avionics and in engine geometry. Where these differences occur. I have tried to point them out in the photo captions.
A last word on the obvious difference between the period photos and those of modern restorations. Most restorations are done to a level which would portray an airplane fresh out of the factory. The period photos are included to remind you that in operational service, these airplanes in no way resembled a factory-fresh airplane.