B25 Mitchell Bomber ... ?

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B25 Mitchell Bomber ... ?

Post by Niner » Sun Dec 24, 2023 11:55 pm

I was trying out a camera at Battleship Park last week. I was looking at the photos again tonight. Noticed something that I can't explain. There is this B25 Mitchell Bomber on display. It was refurbished recently after having been outside and not much done to it. There was one thing the pictures showed I can't explain. Namely, how did the machine gun get inside the glassed in nose? Certainly something isn't right.
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Re: B25 Mitchell Bomber ... ?

Post by Niner » Mon Dec 25, 2023 12:16 am

This...I think....is the same B25 before they modified it to a Mitchell B25. Of course I could be wrong.
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Re: B25 Mitchell Bomber ... ?

Post by Niner Delta » Mon Dec 25, 2023 1:33 am

All B-25s were Mitchells and there were A thru J variations, plus variations of variations and trainer models. And there
constant minor changes of all the variations done in the field. When they rebuilt that one from a J model with all the machine guns back
to a C/D model they removed the fixed forward firing .50 cals. and swapped back the top turret for the small top radar dome.
There is the small metal plate at the very tip of the nose that the machine gun would have stuck through, although most photos
I have seen have a little larger metal plate. I'm guessing they decided not to have the gun sticking out through the nose for
a whatever unknown reason. It would not have been that way in combat as that little plate does not look like it's quickly
removeable, even if the gun is on a moving mount. Usually the gun sticks out of the nose all the time.
Next time you are there take a closeup of the information plaque in front of the plane, it may say.
Here is a photo of the common nose gun mount.


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Re: B25 Mitchell Bomber ... ?

Post by Niner » Mon Dec 25, 2023 11:03 am

Now that you have educated me a bit, I can see what looks like it may be a round door in the nose that is clear down and to the right from the gunner. Then there is the OD round circle to the top middle.
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Re: B25 Mitchell Bomber ... ?

Post by Niner Delta » Tue Dec 26, 2023 12:15 am

That clear round door down on the right side of the nose is not for a gun, as there would be no ability to shoot up or left
and that gun barrel would tear the plexiglass apart. And I doubt the OD circle at the top middle, or the ones on each side of the nose
are gun holes. You need the pivot point of the gun to be where it goes through the plexiglass nose (like the photo I added), if
the pivot point is inside away from the plexiglass it would restrict the field of fire to the point of being useless. The nose gun is
for firing a forward cone shape pattern. That nose configuration is interesting and I don't understand it.


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Re: B25 Mitchell Bomber ... ?

Post by DuncaninFrance » Tue Dec 26, 2023 4:02 am

You had better get down there Robert and ask some questions, armed with Vern's info!
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Re: B25 Mitchell Bomber ... ?

Post by Niner » Tue Dec 26, 2023 11:11 am

Vern knows his stuff. I got a feeling what was done to that plane was done with some kind of study so it's probably done right according to some particular plane I'd guess.

When all else fails hit Google. I found this information that doesn't explain the machine gun but.....

A World War II bomber restored to honor a resident of Mobile, Alabama, who participated in Gen. Jimmy Doolittle’s 1942 raid on Japan will also honor Joplin’s late Col. Travis Hoover.

The USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park, which has the 35,000-ton battleship as its centerpiece in Mobile, also has a collection of military weapons and aircraft, including a B-25 Mitchell bomber that has been in the park’s collection since the late 1970s.

Shae McLean, curator at the memorial park, said the B-25 had been restored and modified many times, including a just-completed two-year restoration that re-creates the interior and exterior of the second B-25 to take off from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet on April 18, 1942.

That plane was piloted by Travis Hoover, who moved to Joplin later life, and co-piloted by William N. Fitzhugh, who grew up in Texas and lived in Mobile later in his life. Both men held the rank of U.S. Army lieutenant at the time of the raid. The rest of the crew was navigator Lt. Carl Richard Wildner, bombardier Lt. Richard Ewing Miller and engineer and gunner Staff Sgt. Douglas V. Radney.

Mike Thompson, the aircraft manager at the park who restored the plane, said he felt strongly about restoring this craft to this configuration in honor of Fitzhugh, who died in 1981.

“I knew Bill Fitzhugh well,” Thompson said. “I tell everyone I have probably the most important job here. My job is to make sure no one forgets the memories of the men and women. ... We don’t forget any of them. Bill was a local guy, but I include the whole crew, so this is for Travis Hoover too. They’re all here.”

Paul Zerkel, a Joplin resident who is a grandson of Hoover, said he only recently learned of the restoration and is looking forward to getting a chance to go to the park to see the plane.

“I think that would be unlike anything we’ve seen,” Zerkel said. “I couldn’t imagine seeing something that was that close to his plane. It would almost be overwhelming to see something like that and then to know what was going to happen to those men after they took off.”
https://www.joplinglobe.com/news/local_ ... 7077d.html
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Re: B25 Mitchell Bomber ... ?

Post by Niner Delta » Tue Dec 26, 2023 8:20 pm

Restored as a Doolittle Raider answers some questions and raises others. Since they were only armed with the twin .50s in
the top turret and a smaller .30 cal. in the nose, the tail .50s were fake to save weight. So it seems that the round hole in the
lower right nose may be for the .30 ca. as it was used to just spray the ground at random. The actual photos of them taking off
from the USS Hornet shows they did not have a machine gun sticking out of the nose. But some of the planes restored as
Raiders at some museums show a gun mounted in the center of the nose, including the Museum of the US Air Force.
I give up as this is starting to make my head hurt. ...... :lol:


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Re: B25 Mitchell Bomber ... ?

Post by Niner » Tue Dec 26, 2023 10:42 pm

Just to further confuse things. Here's the B25 at the Pensacola Navel Museum.
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