Sunday, September 20, 2009

B-25 Mitchell Bomber, Warhawk Air Museum

This is a the Pacific Princess, a WWII B-25 Mitchell at the Warhawk Air Museum in Nampa, Idaho. I recently took a trip across the country and was able to visit the museum, and I took a lot of pictures, so I will have more posts in the next few weeks with their many treasures.

The B-25 is named after General Billy Mitchell, a pioneer of American air power. It is the only aircraft ever flown by the United States military to be named after a specific person.
It was the aircraft used in the famous Doolittle Raid on Tokyo on April 18, 1942. A force of 16 B-25s were launched from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet to make the first attack on the Japanese mainland of WWII.

The Mitchell was fast for a bomber, with a top speed of 275 mph and a cruising speed of 230.
It could carry up to 6,000 pounds of bombs, and had a hard point to carry a Mark 13 torpedo under the fuselage. Machine gun and canon armament were different in the various versions of the B-25, but the Pacific Princess was armed with 12 Browning .50 caliber HMGs, 2 in the nose, a turret up top with 2, 4 on cheek mounted blisters, 2 waist guns and 2 rear guns. The Mitchell was also an amazingly sturdy aircraft and could withstand tremendous punishment. A B-25C of the 321st Bomb Group was named Patches and its crew chief painted the aircraft's flak hole patches with high-visibility zinc chromate paint. They completed 300 missions in this aircraft, had 400 patched holes in the aircraft and belly landed six times.

Although the B-25 was originally designed to bomb from medium altitudes in level flight, it was used frequently in areas like Burma and New Guinea to perform treetop-level strafing and drop parachute-delayed fragmentation bombs missions against Japanese bases and airfields in Southwest Asia and the Pacific Rim. These later version Mitchells, often field-modified under Major Pappy Gunn, were also used on strafing and skip-bombing missions against Japanese shipping trying to re-supply their armies.

and it has the sweetest nose art ever.

they also tore the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy a new one, when they weren't thinking about hotties.

Nearly 10,000 B-25s were manufactured in Kansas City and Inglewood, CA and they saw service in every theater of the war. Fast, maneuverable, and versatile, they were used for more than 40 years in various other Air Forces, including Canada, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union .

B-25 Mitchell
  • Crew: six (two pilots, navigator/bombardier, turret gunner/engineer, radio operator/waist gunner, tail gunner
  • Length: 52 ft 11 in
  • Wingspan: 67 ft 6 in
  • Height: 17 ft 7 in
  • Powerplant:Wright R-2600 "Cyclone" radials, 1,850 hp each



  • Guns: 12 × .50 in M2 HMG
  • Hardpoints: 2,000 lb (900 kg) ventral shackles to hold one external Mark 13 torpedo
  • Rockets:
  • Bombs: 6,000 lb (2,700 kg)

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