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The North American B-25 Mitchell is perhaps the best known allied medium bomber of World War Two. It was named to honour General Billy Mitchell, a pioneer of military aviation on the United States, in particular the use of bombers against battleships.
A rugged, reliable aircraft, the B-25 saw service in almost every theatre with several air forces and was much loved by aircrews. It first captured public attention after General Jimmy Doolittle’s audacious raid on Tokyo in April 1942. Sixteen B-25s took off from the carrier USS Hornet, flew to Japan and bombed their target successfully. Return to the Hornet was not part of the plan because the B-25 was never designed for shipboard operation, so the aircraft flew on towards China. Unfortunately, they had been forced to launch prematurely, and at the limit of their fuel, all but one crash-landed short of their pre-arranged destinations. More than 10,000 B-25s were built.
The aircraft featured in this DVD is a B-25J, operated by the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. It came off the production line in 1945, too late for active service so began its working life as a corporate transport. It has been restored in the markings of 98 Squadron RAF and is dedicated to the Canadian personnel who served in that squadron and also to all the members of the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum who were awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.