Aviation of World War II

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B-25 Mitchell Variants

  • B-25. The first version of the B-25 delivered. No prototypes were ordered. The first nine aircraft were built with constant dihedral angle. Due to low stability, the wing was redesigned so that the dihedral was eliminated on the outboard section. (Number made: 24; W.Nr. from 40-2165 to 40-2188)
  • B-25A. Version of the B-25 modified to make it combat ready; additions included self-sealing fuel tanks, crew armor, and an improved tail gunner station. No changes were made in the armament. Re-designated obsolete (RB-25A designation) in 1942. (Number made: 40; W.Nr. 40-2189-2228)
  • B-25B. Rear turret deleted; maimed dorsal and remotely-operated ventral turrets added, each with a pair of .50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns. The ventral turret was retractable, but the increased drag still reduced the cruise speed by 30 mph (48 km/h). 23 were delivered to the RAF as the Mitchell Mk I. The Doohttle Raiders flew B-25Bs on their famous mission. (Number made: 120. W.Nr. from 40-2229 to 40-2242 and from 40-2244 to 40-2348;)
  • B-25C. Improved version of the B-25B: powerplants upgraded from Wright R-2600-9 radials to R-2600-13s: de-icing and anti-icing equipment added; the navigator received a sighting blister: nose armament was increased to two .50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns, one fixed and one flexible. The B-25C model was the first mass-produced B-25 version; it was also used in the United Kingdom (as the Mitchell II), in Canada. China, the Netherlands, and the Soviet Union. First mass-produced B-25 model. (Number made: 1,625; W.Nr. 41-12434-13038, 41-13039-41-13296, 42-32233-32532, 42-53332-53493, 42-64502-64801)
  • B-25D. Identical to the B-25C, the only difference was that the B-25D was made in Kansas City, Kansas, whereas the B-25C was made in Inglewood, California. First flew on 3 January 1942. (Number made: 2,290; W.Nr. 41-29648-30847, 42-87113-87612, 43-3280-3869)
  • WB-25D. In 1944, four B-25Ds were converted for weather reconnaissance by the 53d Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, originally called the Army Hurricane Reconnaissance Unit, now called the "Hurricane Hunters". Weather recon first started in 1943 with the First Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, with flights on the Noith Atlantic ferry routes.
  • XB-25E. Single B-25C modified to test de-icing and anti-icing equipment that circulated exhaust from the engines in chambers in the leading and trailing edges and empennage. The aircraft was tested for almost two years, beginning in 1942; while the system proved extremely effective, no production models were built that used it prior to the end of World War II. Many prop aircraft today use the XB-25E system. (Number made: 1; W.Nr. 42-32281 converted.)
  • XB-25F-A. Modified B-25C that tested the use of insulated electrical de-icing coils mounted inside the wing and empennage leading edges as a de-icing system. The hot air de-icing system tested on the XB-25E was more practical. (Number made: 1, converted.)
  • XB-25G. Modified B-25C in which the transparent nose was replaced by a solid one carrying two fixed .50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns and a 75 mm (2.95 in) M4 cannon, then the largest weapon ever carried on an American bomber. (Number made: 1; W.Nr. 41-13296 converted.)
  • B-25G. To satisfy the dire need for ground-attack and strafing aircraft, the B-25G was made following the success of the prototype XB-25G. The production model featured increased armor and a greater fuel supply than the XB-25G. One B-25G was passed to the British, who gave it the name Mitchell II that had been used for the B-25C. (Number made: 420; W.Nr. 42-64802-65201)
  • B-25H. An improved version of the B-25G. It featured two additional fixed .50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns in the nose and four in fuselage-mounted pods: the heavy M4 cannon was replaced by a lighter 75 mm (2.95 in) T13E1. (Number made: 1.000; W.Nr. 43-4105-5104; number left flying in the world: 1.)
  • B-25J. The last production model of the B-25. often called a cross between the B-25C and the B-25H. It had a transparent nose, but many of the delivered aircraft were modified to have a solid nose. Most of its 14—18 machine guns were forward-facing for strafing missions. 316 were delivered to the Royal Air Force as the Mitchell III. (Number made: 4.318; W.Nr. 43-3870-4104, 43-27473-28222, 43-35946-36245, 44-28711-31510, 44-86692-86897, 45-8801-8899)
  • CB-25J. Utility transport version.
  • VB-25J. A number of B-25s were converted for use as staff and VIP transports. Henry H. Arnold and Dwight D. Eisenhower both used converted B-25Js as their personal transports.

Trainer variants

Most models of the B-25 were used at some point as training aircraft.

  • TB-25D. Originally designated AT-24A (Advanced Trainer. Model 24, Version A). Trainer modification of B-25D. In total, 60 AT-24s were built.
  • TB-25G. Originally designated AT-24B. Trainer modification of B-25G.
  • TB-25C. Originally designated AT-24C. Trainer modification of B-25C.
  • TB-25J. Originally designated AT-24D. Trainer modification of B-25J. Another 600 B-25Js were modified after the war.
  • TB-25K. Hughes El fire-control radar trainer (Hughes). (Number made: 117.)
  • TB-25L. Hayes pilot-trainer conversion. (Number made: 90.)
  • TB-25M. Hughes E5 fire-control radar trainer. (Number made: 40.)
  • TB-25N. Hayes navigator-trainer conversion. (Number made: 47.)

U.S. Navy / U.S. Marine Corps variants

  • PBJ-1C. Similar to the B-25C for the US Navy; often fitted with airborne search radar and used in the anti-submarine role. (Number made: 50; W.Nr. 34998 - 35047)
  • PBJ-1D. Similar to the B-25D for the US Navy and US Marine Corps. Differed in having a single .50 in (12.7 mm) machine gun in the tail turret and beam gun positions similar to the B-25H. Often fitted with airborne search radar and used in the antisubmarine role. (Number made: 152; W.Nr. 35048 - 35096, 35098 - 35193, 35196 - 35202)
  • PBJ-1G. US Navy/US Marine Coips designation for the B-25G. (Number made: 1; W.Nr. 35097)
  • PBJ-1H. US Navy/US Marine Corps designation for the B-25H. (Number made: 248; W.Nr. 35250-35297, 88872-89071)
  • PBJ-1J. US Navy designation for the B-25J-NC (Blocks -1 through -35) with improvements in radio and other equipment. Often fitted with "package guns" and wingtip search radar for the anti-shipping/anti-submarine role. (Number made: 255; W.Nr. 35194-35195, 35203-35249, 35798-35920, 38980-39012, 64943-64992)
  • One PBJ-1H was modified with carrier take-off and landing equipment and successfully tested on the USS Shangri-La, but the Navy did not continue development.



  • Bomber Aircrafts of World War II /Loree Vallejo/