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A47 B-25 Mitchell

The North American NA-62 was one of the best twin-engined medium bombers of World War II. The first aircraft flew on 19 August 1940 and, subsequently, almost 11,000 versions operated with Allied air forces throughout the world.

Officially designated B-25, the bomber was later named the Mitchell in honour of General Mitchell who had been court-martialled in 1925 for his outspoken views on air power. Other Generals associated with the aircraft included General Doolittle, who led 16 B-25Bs from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet in the historic Tokyo raid on 18 April 1942, and General Kenny, under whose command B-25C/Ds (Mitchell IIs) were converted at RAAF Townsville for ground strafing. These field modifications culminated in the B-25J (Mitchell III), which was the most effective version of this famous bomber.

In 1942, the RAAF accepted a number of Mitchells on behalf of the Dutch Government. These aircraft equipped No 18 (Dutch East Indies) Squadron and, by 1945, 150 Mitchells of various marks had been received.

In April 1944, No 2 Squadron replaced its Beauforts with Mitchells and the first 39 aircraft (A47-1/39) were transferred from No 18 Dutch East Indies Squadron. A total of 50 Mitchells were operated by No 2 Squadron including 30 Mitchell IIs (A47-1/25, 33/37) and 20 Mitchell IIIs (A47-26/32, 38/50). The Mitchells of Nos 2 and 18 Dutch East Indies Squadrons formed No 79 Wing, and these aircraft carried out many successful strikes against enemy targets.

At the end of the war, the Mitchells of No 2 Squadron helped evacuate and return many prisoners of war, and the aircraft were finally phased out of service in 1946.

TECHNICAL DATA: North American Mitchell III B-25J


Medium bomber with 5 or 6 crew. All metal stressed-skin construction. Company designation NA-108.


Two 1,700 hp Wright Cyclone R-2600-92.


Span 20.60 m (67 ft 7 in); length 16.13 m (52 ft 11 in); height 4.82 m (15 ft 10 in).


Empty 9571 kg (21 100 lb); loaded 18 960 kg (41 800 lb).


Max speed 442 km/h (239 kt); Cruising speed 370 km/h (200 kt); Service ceiling 24,000 ft (7315 m); Range 2050 km (1108 nm).


Twelve 0.50 in machine-guns, eight 5-inch rockets and 1360 kg (3000 lb) bomb load Back to top

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