|The North American B-25 Mitchell was an American twin-engine, medium bomber manufactured by North American Aviation (NAA) company. The design 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 WW2 ended many remained in service, operating across four decades. Produced in numerous variants, nearly 10,000 Mitchells rolled from NAA factories.
The majority of B-25s in American service were used in the war against Japan in Asia and the Pacific. The Mitchell fought from the North of the Pacific to the South and also the Far East. These areas included the campaigns in the Aleutian Islands, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, New Britain, China, Burma and the island hoping campaign in the Central Pacific. The aircraft’s potential as a ground-attack aircraft emerged during the Pacific war. The jungle environment reduced the usefulness of medium-level bombing and made low level attack the best tactic. Using similar mast height level tactics and skip bombing, the B-25 proved itself to be a suitable anti-shipping weapon and sank many enemy vessels of various types. An ever-increasing number of forward firing guns made the B-25 a formidable strafing aircraft for island warfare. The strafe versions were the B-25C1/D1, the B-25J1 and with the NAA strafer nose, the J2 sub-series.
In Burma, the B-25 was often used to attack Japanese communication links, especially bridges in Central Burma. It also helped supply the besieged troops in Imphal in 1944. The China Air Task Force, The Chinese American Composite Wing, the First Air Commando Group, the 31st Bomb Group and eventually, the relocated 12th Bomb Group, all operated the B-25 in the China Burma India theatre. Many of these missions involved battle field isolation, interdiction and close air support. Our latest version ‘The Flying Dragon’ saw service in the Far East and was one of the most heavily adorned Mitchell’s with extensive artwork adorning it’s fuselage.