Strategic Air & Space Site Index
B-25 Cut-Away Gallery


The sign accompanying the aircraft. It reads

North American
Medium Bomber

Today, the Doolittle raid is acknowledged for its psychological effect on the Japanese home front, and as one of the most famous actions of the B-25 bomber during the war.

On April 18, 1942, sixteen modified two-engine B-25s took off from the American aircraft carrier USS Hornet some 700 miles off the Japanese coast. They were embarking on the first bombing raid of Tokyo since the beginning of World War II. These medium bombers, under the command of then-Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle, carried three 500-pound demolition bombs and one 500-pound incendiary cluster and were assigned targets in Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya, Osaka and Kobe.

The work-horse B-25 Mitchells saw duty on all fronts from Europe to Africa, the Pacific to Alaska and Russia. Beginning with the British and American landings in Morocco and Algeria, B-25s dropped a total of 84,980 tons of bombs on European targets, shot down 193 enemy planes and completed 63,177 missions. A standard crew consisted of the pilot, copilot, navigator, bombardier and gunner.

The first test flight of the NA-62 modified prototype was in August 1940. That flight was followed shortly by production of 40 B-25As, which were delivered in 1941 to the 17th Bombardment Group. Production increased to include 120 B-25Bs, 1,619 B-25Cs, and 2,290 B-25Ds equipped with heavier armament and back and belly turrets. Between 1943 and 1945, 4,318 B-25Js -- the last in the model series -- were produced.

Throughout World War II, the U.S. provided large numbers of B-25s to the Allies, including Great Britain and Russia, which received nearly 900.

In addition to its role as a medium bomber, the B-25 was used for attacking low-level targets and shipping. The B-25H's heavy offensive forward armaments of eight .50-caliber machine guns proved especially effective against land and sea transportation. Also, Mitchells were used extensively to provide support for ground forces as they arduously retook Pacific islands seized by Japanese forces in the first years of World War II.

Between 1949 and 1959, SAC's 3902nd Air Base Wing, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, had a maximum of twenty-five B-25s assigned, mostly for use in instrument flight instruction.

About this B-25N

This B-25N (SN 44-28738) was manufactured by North American Aviation, Kansas City, Kansas, and delivered to the U.S. Army Air Force on January 17, 1945. It was dropped from the inventory and flown to the SAC Museum on November 9, 1959.

This aircraft is on loan from the U.S. Air Force Museum Program.

Specifications of the B-25N (JTB model)

Mission: Medium bomber

Range: 1,350 mi, with 3,000-lb bomb load

Crew: 3 to 6

Years of service: 1951-1960s. Following World War II, the B-25J version saw service with the militaries of Brazil, Indonesia, Venezuela, and other countries.

Years with SAC: 1949-1959

Number built: 11,000+ (all versions)

Number assigned to SAC: 25

Power Plant: 2 Wright R-2600-9 Cyclone, 14-cylinder radial, air-cooled engines, 1,700 HP each

Weight, empty: 21,100 lb

Weight, loaded: 33,500 lb

Maximum take-off weight, loaded: 35,000 lb

Armament: .50-caliber machine guns

Capacity: 4,000-lb bomb load (3,000 lb internally)

Maximum speed: 275 MPH at 13,000 ft

Cruising speed: 200-230 MPH

Service ceiling: 24,200 ft

Height: 15' 9"

Wingspan: 67' 7"

Fuselage length: 52' 11"

Time picture taken Sun Jul 27 14:08:08 2008
Location picture taken Hangar A
Strategic Air & Space Museum
Ashland, NE
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