Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo

While we're on the topic of the fine products of North American Aviation, here is a B-25J Mitchell, wearing a North African paint scheme that is rather anachronistic for a late-war variant like a "J". This particular example was in the 1970 film adaptation of Catch-22.


bluesun said...

Ooo, my favorite! In some versions they could have something like 15 .50 caliber machine guns pointing forward--which takes the cake for awesome, in my opinion.

JohninMd.(too late?!??) said...

When did the 'J' model come out, and how different from earlier birds?

Daniel Watters said...

Actually, wasn't the USAAF's actual desert camo color a shade of pink?

LCB said...

Some varients had the .50's AND a 37mm in the nose. The AAF used them against shipping in the Pacific. Great to see them still flying.

A have you been to the USAF museum in Dayton? As close as you are, I'd be shocked if you hadn't. It's an awesome place.

You guys ever make it over here I'll talk my significant other in to joining me in treating you guys to lunch or dinner somewhere.

NotClauswitz said...

If you get a chance to go up in one wear foam earplugs AND over-the-ear earpro: the un-muffeled exhausts are only about two-feet away from the skin of the plane and beat on it hard.

Sherm said...

I saw this in the background of your previous picture and appreciate you heeding my unexpressed wish for a better picture.

Tam said...


"Some varients had the .50's AND a 37mm in the nose."

It was even better than that: They had M4 or M5 75mm cannon.

Haven't yet made it to Dayton, but its on my list. :)


The J had the relocated dorsal turret and fixed-forward-firing "cheek" guns of the G and H variants, but with the glazed nose of the earlier C model.

LCB said...

If you love museums as much as I do...plan on two days so you don't feel rushed. Oh...and for sure take the bus to the hanger where they have planes waiting to be restored. You have to get there early and sign up for that. No cost (or there wasn't), but they only run so many buses a day. They have (had) FDR's and Truman's plans there...along with a lot of other cool stuff. Like the interceptor version of the SR-71. I think it was just a prototype.

Dang it...I haven't been in a couple of years and I'm talking myself in to another visit...

LCB said...

I just looked at the website to check their hours for Saturday. They have President Kennedy's Air Force 1 there now, and it's open to walk through.

LCB said... more post and I'll shut up. I just found a major time killer at the AAF Museum website.

If you select Exhibits at the top of the home page, select an exhibit,then select a plane...they have 360 views of the insides of some of the planes. Like the B-36J

Anonymous said...

Always liked the Mitchell.

A long time ago I lived on an island
in the Pacific. Someone we knew
was a cop and intended to give me a welded up .45 to run around and play cowboy with. He asked the brass who had a snitfit. (Pernicious British influence to blame, IMO).

He was put in charge of building a new road through the jungle.
Along the way the road gang found
a crashed Mitchell. He had them
extract a Ma Deuce from the wreckage and gave me that instead of the evil welded handgat.

He and dad got some of the WWII era rounds out of it and burned the powder on the cement cistern
outside our back door. They
couldn't get the one in line with
the bent barrel out so stuck it in
a barrel of motor oil to loosent things up. I used to go and look at it sitting there. Kinda fun
but I wish they had managed to clear the barrel. Crew served
cowboys, giddeyup!

Also wish I knew then what I know
about right sideplates and the '68


The gun went in the ocean when we left the island. The guy who took over the house had no appreciation for the finer things in life.

More sighs...

RandyGC said...

Tam, you make it over to the AF Museum drop me a line and I'll split your check with LCB. That or one takes lunch the other takes dinner.

KM said...

I always thought Milo Minderbinder was fictional....till he got elected Prez.

fast richard said...

I once made a mess on my parent's basement floor stripping paint off some B-25 cowling pieces. It belonged to some guys who couldn't quite afford to get it airworthy. I did get to ride in it once taxiing around on the ground. It had some pretty impressive noise and acceleration when the throttles came up. When running up the engines on the ground, a stand of young trees about a hundred yards behind would wave around as if they were in a hurricane.

Ken O said...

I grew up with the Confederate Airforce more or less in my back yard. To this day I keep a painting with their planes: B29, B17, B24, B25 and B26 on my wall.

Will said...

Moving airshow story:

Will said...

Whoa! A Doolittle's B-25 Raid Pilot story:

Murphy's Law said...

So that's one of Frank Tallman's old planes, is it? He and his company, Tallmantz Aviation, scoured America for old B-25s to create an "Air Foce" foe the movie, Catch 22. They bought up every POS derelict B-25 that they could find, (18 in all) made them all flyable again, and flew them into Mexico to film that movie. One was destroyed for the movie but the rest came home and were sold to collectors. A good percentage of the flyable B-25s today (about 45 worldwide) exist because of Tallman and that movie.

Oh, and did I mention yet that Tallman, who was undoubtedly Hollywood's greatest stunt pilot, only had one leg? Amputees in aviation rock!

BillB said...

My father-in-law that just passed away this week was in the squadron that was tasked with mounting offensive rockets on the B-25

Anonymous said...

B-17 & B-25 in flight over central Arizona:

Drang said...

I love me some B25s.
The H variant had 4 .50s in the nose, plus the 75mm, and four more .50s in the cheek mountings. They say it would back up when they fired the 75s; whether or not that's true, I do believe the story that the frame would warp after a few missions...
There were actually two J models, one with a glass nose, and the other was solid nose with 8 .50s, plus the four cheek mounts. The solid-nose Js would tear right through a Japanese destroyer on a strafing run.
I highly recommend Martin Caiden's novel Whip, about a squadron of Mitchells in the South Pacific. (Also, his The Last Dogfight about the -- apocryphal -- eponymous event, between a P38 and a Zero ace. At one point the Americans are debating removing the 20mm from the nose of the Lightning, as "We don't need that firepower for a Zero...")

Will said...

14 forward aimed .50BMG's at near 12K rpm, and fairly well concentrated, would certainly act like a buzz saw on a lightly built ship. Even the P-38 had been known to sink destroyers, with their similarly concentrated output.

There was a bunch of various gun configurations modeled for the P-38. One was to replace the 20mm with more .50's, to give 6 or 7 of them total. Weight-wise, they couldn't just toss the 20mm due to balance problems with the CG. That's one of the reasons the pilot could select between what he wanted to fire.