Tag: b25

Mitchell

The North American B-25 Mitchell is an American twin-engine, medium bomber manufactured by North American Aviation (NAA). It was named in honour of Major General William “Billy” Mitchell, a pioneer of U.S. military aviation. Used by many Allied air forces, the B-25 served in every theatre of World War II and after the war ended many remained in service, operating across four decades. Produced in numerous variants, nearly 10,000 Mitchells rolled from NAA factories.

At Dunsfold three RAF squadrons operated Mitchells – 98, 180 and 320 Squadrons. They were initially equipped with Mitchell II’s ( equivalent to the variant that the Americans used, the Mitchell B25 C ) and in 1944 were upgraded with Mitchell III’s (B25 J).

The evolution in the European theatre showed that the ventral positioned remote turret was not popular and later removed. The majority of Dunsfold based operations were utilising the Mitchell II. Later, repositioning of the top turret and the addition of waist gun positions was the primary change seen in the later Mitchell III.

ROYAL AIR FORCE: 2ND TACTICAL AIR FORCE, 1943-1945. (CH 20598) North American Mitchell Mark IIs of No. 320 (Dutch) Squadron RAF lined up at Dunsfold, Surrey, during an inspection of No. 139 Wing by the Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Expeditionary Force, General Dwight D Eisenhower. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205210861
ROYAL AIR FORCE: 2ND TACTICAL AIR FORCE, 1943-1945. (CH 12862) North American Mitchell Mark IIs of No. 98 Squadron RAF taxying along the perimeter track at Dunsfold, Surrey, for a morning raid on targets in northern France. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205210539
ROYAL AIR FORCE: 2ND TACTICAL AIR FORCE, 1943-1945. (CH 11991) North American Mitchell Mark II, FV929 ‘VO-D’, of No. 98 Squadron RAF landing at Dunsfold, Surrey, after a daylight raid over northern France. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205210480
AMERICAN AIRCRAFT IN RAF SERVICE 1939-1945: NORTH AMERICAN NA-82 MITCHELL. (CH 20592) Mitchell Mark II, FV985 ?VO-S?, of No. 98 Squadron RAF based at Dunsfold, Surrey, approaches the English Channel south of Etaples while returning from a ‘Noball’ operation over northern France. Note the deployed ventral turret. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205210536
North American Mitchell II of No.180 Squadron,   Rickard, J (2 October 2008), http://www.historyofwar.org/Pictures/pictures_mitchell_II_180_sqn.html
North American Mitchell II of No.98 Squadron, Rickard, J (18 July 2008), http://www.historyofwar.org/Pictures/pictures_mitchell_II_98_sqn.html
The Mitchell II (B25 C) was not radially different to its successor. Around the time of D-Day the first of the new Mitchell III’s (B25 J) were introduced to 98 Squadron and later to 180 and 320 Squadrons Note: the MkIII (B25J) has a revised turret position, aerial clusters and waist gunner positions requiring squadron code markings to be moved on the fuselage.
B25 at Dunsfold in 2009 © Jonny White
B25 at Dunsfold in 2009 ©Jonny White
B25 at Dunsfold in 2009 ©Jonny White

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