There were many great WWII aircraft. Mustang; Liberator; Thunderbolt to name a few. While I love the fighters, I have a special attraction to the B-25 Mitchell. Mostly due to The Doolittle Raid. Courageous men that created an important turning point in the war with a one way trip to destiny. Doolittle thought the raid had been a failure, that he would be court-martialed, but not so. It caused the Japanese to recall experienced fighter squadrons to defend the home islands, and resulted in Japan ‘s weakened air capabilities at the upcoming Battle of Midway. A B-25J arrived at our EAA chapter fly in, the one with the eight 50 caliber machine guns in the nose. It just looked lethal sitting in front of our dinner table and I could imagine screaming down the chute in the left seat, strafing enemy trains. I thought of the brave men who learned to fly bombers off carriers into an incredibly hazardous journey with low odds of returning.
B-25J ‘Pacific Princess’ and crew participates in the largest gathering of B-25’s since WWII for the 68th Doolittle Raiders Reunion held April 17th & 18th, 2010 at USAF Museum, Wright Field Dayton OH. 17 B-25’s formed up for a the Doolittle Memorial ceremony. 8 Doolittle Raiders of the original 79 remain, 4 were able to attend the 2010 event.
Not many remain. If you have spare time, read a first hand account of what it was like to be there.