The North American B-25 Mitchell medium bomber was used by many Allied air forces in every theater of World War II and by many other air forces after the war ended, seeing service across four decades. It is named after General Billy Mitchell, a pioneer of US military aviation.
Although the B-25 was originally designed to bomb from medium altitudes in level flight, it was used frequently in the Southwest Pacific theater on treetop-level strafing and parachute-retarded fragmentation bombs missions against Japanese airfields in New Guinea and the Philippines. These heavily-armed, field-modified aircraft were used on strafing and skip-bombing missions against Japanese shipping trying to resupply their land-based armies as well. Mitchells were also responsible for devastating effects in the Central Pacific, Alaska, Mediterranean, North Africa and China-Burma-India theaters.
After the war, many B-25s were employed as training aircraft. They were also used as staff transport, utility and navigator-trainer aircraft. The last B-25, a VIP transport, was retired from the USAF on May 21, 1960. Some are still flying today, most as warbirds.
Signed by Richard E. Cole, 2nd Lt., Jimmy Doolittes Copilot on plane #1