Help with B25H history

Discussion in 'Aircraft Requests' started by Hardy, Feb 11, 2016.

  1. Hardy

    Hardy New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2016
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    My grandad was a bomber pilot and this is a picture of his plane he mailed to his brother in the merchant marines. Long shot, but I was wondering if anybody would be able to help me with some of the history of the plane with the numbers on the tail. I hadn't had much luck but maybe somebody more versed in WWII aircraft can answer pretty quick. All I really know is that he graduated from Ellington Field flight school 2/16/43 and the Christmas card I have from 1944 says 81st Squadron 12th Bomb Group. Any help is greatly appreciated, trying to piece together the past of all the questions I never thought to ask.
     
  2. Snautzer01

    Snautzer01 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Messages:
    3,097
    Likes Received:
    453
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    perhaps he meet these guys

    10th AF UNITS

    Stations: McChord Field, WA, 15 Jan 1941; Esler Field, LA, 27 Feb-3 Jul 1942 (operated from Stockton Field, CA, 24 May-24 Jun 1942); Deversoir, Egypt, 30 Jul 1942; LG 88, Egypt, 18 Oct 1942; Gambut, Libya, 6 Dec 1942; Magrun LG, Libya, 14 Dec 1942; Gambut, Libya, 17 Dec 1942; Tmed El Chel, Libya, 11 Jan 1943; Berteaux, Algeria, 3 Feb 1943; Canrobert, Algeria, 15 Mar 1943; Thibar, Tunisia, 1 May 1943; Hergla, Tunisia, 2 Jun 1943; Ponte Olivo, Sicily, c. 2 Aug 1943; Gerbini, Sicily, 22 Aug 1943; Foggia, Italy, 5 Nov 1943; Gaudo Airfield, Italy, 18 Jan-6 Feb 1944; Tezgaon, India, c. 20 Mar 1944; Madhaiganj Airfield, India, 13 Jun 1944; Fenny, India, 17 Jul 1944 (operated from Meiktila, Burma, 21-29 Apr 1945); Madhaiganj Airfield, India, 7 Jun 1945; Karachi, India, 15 Nov-24 Dec 1945; Ft. Lawton, WA, 21-22 Jan 1946. Langley Field

    Page 988 WWII US Air Force Photos - Fold3


    Fold3_Page_988_.jpg Fold3_Page_989.jpg
     
  3. Snautzer01

    Snautzer01 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Messages:
    3,097
    Likes Received:
    453
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
  4. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2009
    Messages:
    11,093
    Likes Received:
    1,046
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Heavy Equipment Operator
    Location:
    Jungles of Canada
    If you can find these, they contain weekly and monthly reports. I have two of the Eastern Air Command reports for your time frame that I'll look through.

    1.jpg 2.jpg

    Geo
     
  5. Hardy

    Hardy New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2016
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    How do the numbers in the tail work? It's really a long shot but I wish I could find out more about the plane. I'm working on a colt 1911 and want to do nose art for the grips and if possible I wish I could find if his plane had any so I could do a tribute piece.
     
  6. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2009
    Messages:
    11,093
    Likes Received:
    1,046
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Heavy Equipment Operator
    Location:
    Jungles of Canada
  7. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Messages:
    15,201
    Likes Received:
    2,035
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Public Safety Automotive Technician
    Location:
    Redding, California
    Home Page:
    Geo...I took a crack at the tail numbers myself and oddly enough, I keep coming up with a B-26C.

    It seems the number block for the B-25s skips between 43-4700 and 43-5000...
     
  8. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2009
    Messages:
    11,093
    Likes Received:
    1,046
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Heavy Equipment Operator
    Location:
    Jungles of Canada
    Yea, thought that was odd Dave, but then, I seem to have taken the Evelyn Woodhead course without knowing it and tend to gloss over things.

    Geo
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Messages:
    15,201
    Likes Received:
    2,035
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Public Safety Automotive Technician
    Location:
    Redding, California
    Home Page:
    I'm still digging and I've got the numbers narrowed down in the results...but again, it mysteriously skips the block between 43-4915 and 43-4999 although it does return as a B-25H

    Here's the results I have so far:
    43-4705 ... 43-5104 (EXACT MATCH)
    North American B-25H-10 Mitchell
    c/n 98-21706/98-22105

    4705 to USN as PBJ-1H 89051
    4709 to USN as PBJ-1H 35297
    4710 to USN as PBJ-1H 35258
    4711/4883 to USN as PBJ-1H 88878/89050
    4896 ditched off Guam Apr 6, 1945.
    4899 sold on commercial market in 1946. N66572, N1582V,
    N37L. Converted to executive transport. Now
    on display at Kalamazoo Aviation
    History Museum, Kalamazoo, MI as N37L.
    4905 (341st BG) lost Oct 17, 1944. MACR 11697
    4915 MIA Sep 8, 1945. Wreckage found Dec 24, 1995 on the edge of a cliff near Timkua,
    West Irian, Indonesia. Remains of crew recovered Jan 1999.
    4999 sold on commercial market as N3970C. At one stage was 2502 of
    Dominican AF. Now owned by New England Air Museum, Windsor Locks, CT.
    5022 sold on commercial market 1946 as N4903V. Scavenged for
    spare parts.
    5028/5047 to USN as PBJ-1H 89052/89071
    5068 lost Aug 7, 1944, British West Indies.
    5103 on display at USAF History and
    Traditions Museum, Lackland AFB, Texas
     
  10. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Messages:
    15,201
    Likes Received:
    2,035
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Public Safety Automotive Technician
    Location:
    Redding, California
    Home Page:
    Like I mentioned before, there is a B-26C that keeps popping up, but it's number is 41-34975.

    The MACR indicates the accident was 19 June 1943, the pilot was killed in the incident. Crashed on take off, Rufisque airfield, Senegal.

    Definitely not the one we're looking for.
     
  11. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2009
    Messages:
    11,093
    Likes Received:
    1,046
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Heavy Equipment Operator
    Location:
    Jungles of Canada
    Went through the Eastern Air Command books. It just mentions T.E.(Twin Engine) among others, availability, no types or s/n. Wish I had more of them though as they chronicle the war movement pretty well and there is a lot of intel info as well


    Geo
     
  12. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Messages:
    15,201
    Likes Received:
    2,035
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Public Safety Automotive Technician
    Location:
    Redding, California
    Home Page:
  13. Hardy

    Hardy New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2016
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Thanks for all the help guys, I really appreciate it. I have a cousin that's local that has his journal so maybe there's something in it. There's not any art in the picture but I was curious if maybe it was added later. I know his first plane, I'm assuming this one, was shot up over Southern Europe and 1 crew member was lost.

    Is it possible to look up planes by pilot?
     
  14. Hardy

    Hardy New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2016
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Also, what is the 1 6 or I 6 on the tail?
     
  15. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2009
    Messages:
    11,093
    Likes Received:
    1,046
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Heavy Equipment Operator
    Location:
    Jungles of Canada
    I believe that's called the plane number, to identify the aircraft in the squadron(I can't see your photo any more). Not sure about looking up the aircraft by pilots but I would be curious about what's in the journal. As Dave's post says, there is something amiss about the serial numbers. We shall keep searching.


    Geo
     
  16. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Messages:
    15,201
    Likes Received:
    2,035
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Public Safety Automotive Technician
    Location:
    Redding, California
    Home Page:
    Typically, a pilot (or crewman) is connected to a particular aircraft if it crashed and would be in the MACR - otherwise, it's not noted, unless it's a notable pilot like Jimmy Stewert or someone along those lines.

    Hardy, I hope you don't mind, but I processed the image a little to pull out as much detail as possible (and rotate it to a horizontal view)...and I don't see any additional markings (nose art, mission markers, etc.) other than the bomb group ID (16) and the serial number/radio code (34975).

    Hardy_B-25H_34975[800].jpg
     
  17. Micdrow

    Micdrow “Archive”
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    7,715
    Likes Received:
    424
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Occupation:
    Manufacture Tech
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #17 Micdrow, Feb 13, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2016
    Ok, theory of mine and feel free to shoot it up but I don't think the tail serial number is the military serial number but the NAA (North American Aviation) serial number. Below is the block of both military and NAA serial numbers. If so this would have originally been a B-25J-5. If this theory correct. Later some B-25J-5's where converted to B-25G-5's which from the picture looks to be that instead of an B-25H. B-25G's had two 50 caliber machine guns in the nose and one 75mm cannon and no ventral turret. That model also did not have side blisters which from the look of the picture shows no side gun blisters and from the angle I can see only two fifty caliber machine guns in the nose. Chart below came from Williams Wolf book the B-25 Mitchell the ultimate look.

    B-25 tail.jpg
     
  18. Hardy

    Hardy New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2016
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    It may just be me, but looking at the cleaned up picture close it looks like there are more than 2 guns in the nose. The way they arranged in an arc they blend together, but the gun looks too thick compared to the on in the back.
     
  19. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2009
    Messages:
    11,093
    Likes Received:
    1,046
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Heavy Equipment Operator
    Location:
    Jungles of Canada
    I think there is a cannon in the nose as well as two MGs.


    Geo
     
  20. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Messages:
    15,201
    Likes Received:
    2,035
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Public Safety Automotive Technician
    Location:
    Redding, California
    Home Page:
    I noticed that too...the B-25H did have (4) .50 MGs in the nose, arranged in a slight arc, and this photo you've provided shows what looks to be the same arrangement - four 50's
     
Loading...

Share This Page