Serial Number: 18
Markings: 1944 US
Museum Condition: Flying - Book your ride in this plane now!
Named after Gen. Billy Mitchell, the Army Air Corps' most famous figure of the 1920s and 1930s, the North American TB-25N proved to be one of the best American weapons of World War II. The TB-25N Mitchell, a twin-engine bomber that became standard equipment for the Allied Air Forces in World War II, was perhaps the most versatile aircraft of the war. It became the most heavily armed airplane in the world, was used for high-and low-level bombing, strafing, photo reconnaissance, submarine patrol and even as a fighter, and was distinguished as the aircraft that completed the historic raid over Tokyo in 1942. Subsequently, it saw duty in every combat area being flown by the Dutch, British, Chinese, Russians and Australians in addition to our own U.S. forces. Although the airplane was originally intended for level bombing from medium altitudes, it was used extensively in the Pacific area for bombing Japanese airfields from treetop level and for strafing and skip bombing enemy shipping.
More than 9,800 B-25s were built during WW II. Basically, it was a twin-tail, mid-wing land monoplane powered by two 1,700-hp Wright Cyclone engines. Normal bomb capacity was 5,000 pounds. Some versions carried 75 mm cannon, machine guns and added firepower of 13 .50-caliber guns in the conventional bombardier's compartment. One version carried eight .50-caliber guns in the nose in an arrangement that provided 14 forward-firing guns.
This plane was manufactured at the North American Aviation plant in Kansas City and delivered to the U.S. Army Air Force on June 9, 1944. It then was flown to Hunter Field, Savannah, Georgia on June 24 then onto Morrison Field, Florida where it was readied for deployment to the Mediterranean Theatre of Operation.
On July 7, 1944, this aircraft departed Morrison Field and followed the southern route through Brazil, then across the Atlantic to Africa where it was delivered to the 3rd Air Facility Depot. Later that fall it was picked up by the 319th Bomb Group, 437th Squadron at Serraggia Airbase, Corsica. There it was assigned Battle Number 18. The plane then proceeded to fly 15 combat missions over Italy between November 4 and December 31, 1944. The majority of the targets were railroad bridges.