North American B-25 Mitchell – Black 310, VMB-433, US Marine Corps, Pacific
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Corgi Aviation Archive AA35306: North American B-25 Mitchell “Black 310” of VMB-433, US Marine Corps, South West Pacific, 1944. Limited Edition of 2020 Pieces.
Length 8.75 inches. Wingspan 11.25 inches
In response to the Marine Corps need or a medium bomber for night heckling, close air support, and low level bombing and strafing, they started receiving B-25 Mitchell bombers from the Army. They were immediately designated as PBJ’s, using the Navy aircraft designation system. VMB-413 was the first commissioned squadron of Marine Air Group 61 to use these and was quickly followed by the remaining “400” squadrons (VMB 423, 433, 443) and the “600” squadrons (VMB 611,612,613, 614). The 400 squadrons operated first from Sterling Island and later from Green and Emirau. The main assignment of these squadrons were daily bombing and strafing missions against bypassed, but heavily fortified Japanese bases such as Kaveing on New Ireland and Rabaul on New Britain. They also operated against Japanese shipping with low level bombing and carried out nightly heckling missions against these and other installations. This was one among many US Marine Mitchells in Marine Air Group 61 where the crew recorded their missions as small bomb silhouettes adjacent to the pilot’s cockpit. This time-honored bomb log was very rarely backed by any further personalization, although the decorated propeller hubs (in red, white and blue) represent a modest identification marking duplicated on several squadron aircraft.
Originally designed as an attack bomber for export to France and the UK, the B-25 Mitchell was first flown on August 19, 1940. Rejected by the countries it was designed for in favor of the new Douglas DB-7, the B-25 later entered service with the Army Air Corps as a medium bomber. Early in its service career, the B-25 became famous for its role in the Doolittle Raid. Nearly 10,000 B-25s were built by North American Aviation, and the aircraft’s service spanned four decades. Named for aviation pioneer Billy Mitchell, the B-25 is the only US military aircraft to bear the name of an individual person.