The sign accompanying the aircraft. It reads
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
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
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
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"