North American B-25J Mitchell – Bats Outa’ Hell, 499th BS, USAAF 1945
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Corgi Aviation Archive 1/72 Scale AA35303: North American B-25J Mitchell serial 44-29600 Bats Outa’ Hell of the 499th BS, 345th BG, USAAF New Guinea, 1945. Limited Edition of 1420 Pieces
Length 8.75 inches Wingspan 11.25 inches
Assigned to the 5th Air Force, the 345th ‘Air Apaches’ entered combat on June 30, 1943 from New Guinea. Missions flown were: Bombing/strafing airfields and installations, attacking shipping, supporting ground forces, dropping supplies and flying courier and reconnaissance missions. The 499th Bombardment Squadron were commonly known as ‘Bats Outa’ Hell’ due to their brightly painted nose scheme depicting a bats head. Seen here in the less common bare metal finish, this was one of the most famous and intimidating nose art schemes of the Second World War.
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.