B-25 Mitchell

October 13th, 2014

b25

 

The North American B-25 Mitchell is one of my favourite aircraft. I’ve got a thing for twin engined propellor aircraft. I’ve also got a thing for twin tail aircraft. This has both of those things, plus a gullwing, it’s seen versatile use in every theatre of the second world war, it’s had many interesting paintschemes and hey it’s been used by the Dutch Airforce and ML-KNIL. The first two artworks I’ve done with the B-25 have both been for the calendar on dutch aviation. The rest have been box cover artwork for model kits.

 

b-25_320sqn This first piece is called: “Animo libre dirigimur, a B-25 Ramrod under attack”. Animo libre dirigimur translates as: “We are guided by the mind of liberty”, the squadron Motto of 320 Sqn (Dutch), 2nd TAF.  Around D-Day, 320 Squadrons main targets were communication centres and enemy airfields, one of those Ramrod missions is depicted here. The escort of Spitfires is already engaging Focke-Wulf 190A-8s and the top escort is streaking down to assist.

 

 

the-flying-dutchman The second piece is called:“The Flying Dutchman”. This one show one of the five early dedicated strafers of the ML-KNIL 18sqn.  Due to heavy losses during attacks on Japanese shipping, it became clear that using “strafers” would be a good idea. 5 Mitchells had the 4 gun painted over nose and side blisters in 1943, the other 15 aircraft at the time also got additional guns with the side blisters. This specific aircraft, the N5-145 had only flown for 9 months with 18 Sqn when it crashed during landing, but managed to rack up quite an impressive amount of mission markers during that time. It was nicknamed: “The Flying Dutchman”.

 

 

This is called:“499th Strike on Japan”. This image depicts one of the last sorties of the second world war. Bat-nosed B-25J gun-strafers wing their way across the waters close to Japan in search of targets of opportunity. The closest aircraft is B-25J-32 “Betty’s Dream” of the 499th B.S., which a few days later would fly escort to the Japanese surrender delegation.

In the background you can see several other 499th aircraft as well as escorting p-47s.

 

“Barbie on Deck”. This is a depiction of a B-25H “Barbie III” flying low over the jungles of Burma, tangling with several Hayabusas. Barbie III is currently still being flown by History Flight, Inc. It’s one of the last flying examples of the B-25H and the only one still flying with the 75mm cannon in the nose. This was used to take on big targets like ships and fortified positions.

 

 

“Who Cares”. This image shows B-25J bombers flying over Italy, opposed by fw190f-8s that desperately try to stop the inevitable. The closest B-25J is called “who cares”. During this mission the B-25s were tasked with attacking the Brenner Pass in the Alps. Interestingly the various B-25s in the background have various paint schemes despite belonging to the same squadron. Some have olive drab top surfaces, others are all natural metal finish.