B-25J Mitchell

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Manufacturer: North American
Designation: B-25
Version: J
Nickname: Mitchell
Equivalent to: PBJ-1J
Type: Bomber
First Flew: 1940
Length: 51'
Height: 15' 9"
Wingspan: 67' 7"
Wingarea: 610.00 Sq Ft
Empty Weight: 19480.0 lbs
Gross Weight: 35000.0 lbs
Payload 3,000 lbs

4 - .50 cal machine guns

Under wing rockets

Crew: 6
No. of Engines: 2
Powerplant: Wright R-2600-92 Cyclone
Horsepower (each): 1700
Range: 1350 miles
Max Speed: 275 Mph
Ceiling: 23,000 Ft

This versatile United States Army Air Force twin-engine, double tail medium bomber was built by North American Aviation. Named in honor of General William "Billy" Mitchell, an aviation pioneer and early proponent of the value of aerial bombardment, B-25 Mitchell’s served with distinction in every theater of war throughout World War Two. Designed as a level-flight, medium bomber the Mitchell excelled in a variety of missions including low level ground attack and anti-shipping.


Perhaps the aircraft’s most famous mission occurred in April of 1942, when Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle, led one of the most daring missions of the war. Only five months after the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Doolittle led 16 B-25 Mitchell bombers, launched from the deck of the United States Navy aircraft carrier Hornet, on a raid striking military targets in Tokyo, Yokohama, Kobe, and Nagoya, Japan. Completely surprising the Imperial Japanese, Lt. Col. Doolittle's raiders brought a much-needed morale boost to the United States at a time when US confidence was at its lowest ebb. 


The museum's B-25J, serial number 44-31032, was delivered to the Army Air Force in 1945 and put into storage until 1947.  It was assigned to Vance AFB as a TB-25J and TB-25N for pilot training until retirement in 1958.  The aircraft was then sold and registered as N3174AG.  It participated in the 1970 Paramount Pictures film adapted from Joseph Heller’s classic anti-war novel Catch -22, with the nose art “Free, Fast and Ready”. The aircraft is on loan from the NMUSAF


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According to the Air Force Historical Research Agency (AFHRA/RSA), Maxwell
AFB, AL, the museum's B-25J has the following history:

B-25J, s/n 44-31032

Manufactured by North American Aviation, Kansas City KS and delivered to the
USAAF on 29 Mar 1945.

Mar 1945  - To 4168th AAF Base Unit (Air Technical Service Command), South
Plains AAF TX (storage)

Jul 1947  - To 4141st AF Base Unit (Air Materiel Command), Pyote AFB TX

Nov 1948  - To 3575th Pilot Training Wing (Air Training Command), Enid, later
Vance, AFB OK (to TB-25J)

Mar 1951   - To 3700th Military Training Wing (ATC), Lackland AFB TX

Apr 1951  - To 3535th Military Training Wing (ATC), Mather AFB CA

Sep 1952  - To 3575th Pilot Training Wing (ATC), Vance AFB

Sun 1954  - To TB-25N

Sep 1957 -  To Arizona Aircraft Storage Branch (AMC), Davis-Monthan AFB AZ

Apr 1958  -   Dropped from inventory as surplus