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Murray

B25G in RAF markings?

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Hey all, 

So I was reading the wiki on the B-25G and I read that there was one passed over to the RAF for testing who named it the Mitchell II. I was wondering if anyone had any images of this plane? I have so far been unable to find anything.

Cheers! 

 

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The only photo I remember seeing of this aircraft is after it was given a glass (?) nose.  I take it back- this thread leads to this thread, where you'll find a photo.  Also, as commented in one of the threads, there's a good photo (in flight) in Mason's book "The Secret Years".

Edited by gingerbob

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The Mk.IIs were the B-25C and D: I don't think the solitary G would have been given a specific designation because it was basically just a D as far as airframe and engines were concerned, so would automatically count as another Mk.II.

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Excellent help you guys, we have a winner...

http://forum.keypublishing.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=167017&d=1226784258

Posted by and credit due to one Mr Dave Fleming on the 12 O'clock High forum. From what all these links have said, and the other guys on the respective forums in these links, I believe it is FR209. Before it was stripped back to bare metal and converted to the standard bomber variant.

 

Now, to the markings, I am no expert on markings, on the fuselage either side of the visible roundel, appears to be blank or am I mistaken? Also, any idea what that tiny illegible white smudge on the top of the tail might be trying to depict? 

Thank you guys so much for your input.

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1 minute ago, Murrodels said:

Now, to the markings, I am no expert on markings, on the fuselage either side of the visible roundel, appears to be blank or am I mistaken?

 

Ghost of the USAAF insignia?

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The photo I found in 'The Secret Years' on p62 shows one on the ground, without a code letter on the nose and captioned as FR208. FR209 also gets a mention but without a photo. The text (p148) describes both as fitted with 75mm guns although handling trials of FR209 were made without the gun. FR208 is stated as having fired the 75mm at least once on the ground.

 

So it seems you have a choice.

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4 minutes ago, rossm said:

The photo I found in 'The Secret Years' on p62 shows one on the ground, without a code letter on the nose and captioned as FR208. FR209 also gets a mention but without a photo. 

 

 That massive F would probably imply that it is FR209, no? In the book is the tiny white on the tail any clearer perchance? I am gonna go with just the roundel on the fuselage over an OD covered USAAF number. 

The tiny white blur on the tail is the only mystery now. 50% modellers, 50% investigators, 


Thanks gents

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My "Secret Years" is Hikoki Press and no pic (of B-25) on 62.  The in-flight is FR209 (p.158 or so), has no 'F', and no white mystery on the fins.  On the shot with Spit XVI tail, the vertical fin leading-edges seem to be lighter, too?

 

bob

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The plot thickens. For simplicity's sake I think I'll focus on the B25 in the picture. Massive F, blurry former USAAF markings, possible white smudge on the top of the tail. That plane, in that marking variant.

I've seen RAF B25's with black leading edges, nothing lighter. I would hazard a guess at the leading edges being yellow however? 

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This jogged an old memory, there was a Commando Magazine story of Mitchell's going up against Flak towers off the Dutch coast and getting a pasting by going in low and hard, then they re-equipped with cannon equipped Mitchells (e.g. B-25G/H), and showed the Flak towers what for!

 

I was thinking of converting one of the forthcoming Airfix B-25C/D's with an unused nose from an Italeri B-25G and it did cross my mind, not for the first time, did the RAF use B-25G/H's?  As it is I'll be using it to make one of the options on the Albatross B-25 sheet I squirrelled away for a rainy day.

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1 minute ago, Wez said:

I was thinking of converting one of the forthcoming Airfix B-25C/D's with an unused nose from an Italeri B-25G and it did cross my mind, not for the first time, did the RAF use B-25G/H's?  As it is I'll be using it to make one of the options on the Albatross B-25 sheet I squirrelled away for a rainy day.

Nice idea! I was thinking of doing this for something interesting to do with an Italeri B25G I have lying around.

So far we have concluded that there were 2 (maybe 3?) B25G's in RAF service, don't think there were any H's. The G's were changed a whole lot and theres barely anything online on the pair, its proving difficult haha. 

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Light leading edges may be removed de-icer pads - I've seen this on other aircraft but don't know about Mitchells: if you've seen black leading edges that suggests they were fitted.  They wouldn't be yellow, no, that was an identification mark for fighters.  The F suggests an attachment to a squadron, so there may be codes on the rear fuselage that aren't visible.

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Guest

I have a question about gun nosed Mitchell's. Did the RAF even employ B-25 gunships? I recall seeing a picture of a six gun nosed Mitchell in RAF livery but was not sure if it was used only as a test bed or not. I know a lot of American aircraft were tested and rejected, but as for the gun ships I have no clue. For that matter, did they actively use the A-20 gun nosed version?

Cheers

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Guest

I wonder if they were used by coastal command, and if not, how and where they were used tactically? 

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12 hours ago, gingerbob said:

My "Secret Years" is Hikoki Press and no pic (of B-25) on 62.  The in-flight is FR209 (p.158 or so), has no 'F', and no white mystery on the fins.  On the shot with Spit XVI tail, the vertical fin leading-edges seem to be lighter, too?

 

bob

 

There must be different editions I guess. Mine seems to be a first edition published in 1998 as there is no mention of any other date. On p154/5 mine has 4 shots of Mitchells on the ground, I,II and III all with bomber noses, no in flight shots in that section.

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This thread is rapidly moving beyond speculation into what-iffery!

 

So far I have not seen any additions in terms of hard fact to what appeared in the britmodeller thread of 2012 as linked by gingerbob but given again here:

 

.I have just looked out the 4 Oct 1945 Aeroplane Spotter photos, one, usefully, of the starboard side and a close-up of the nose. No "smudge" evident at the top of the fin but similar light leading edges to fin.  I'm with Graham (and the previous thread) in suspecting removed de-icer boots: photo too murky to tell what the leading edge of the wing looks like.  Other points of interest:

  • The aircraft has the late forked antenna on top of the nose as provided in the Hasegawa kits 
  • There is also a light code letter "F" on the tip of the nose, prob 8" but maybe slightly larger.
  • The nose-on shot is very murky (small photo, 1945 quality newsprint) but  I can make the gun recess and, I think, the gun muzzle in it.  This is at odds with info in The Secret Years (p.148) that FR209 was tested there without the gun and with the fuselage "fabriced" over.   Nothing to stop its being put back later of course.  And even as a runabout it might have been needed for airframe CoG considerations (remember the saga with the Eurofighter Typhoon's much smaller cannon?). 
  • No sign of guns in the dorsal turret.
  • Too murky to discern signs of previous USAAF markings.

Not sure what B-25G/H gunships would have bought the RAF that it didn't already have, IF REQUIRED, in its own indigenous Mosquito FB.XVIII.  (If faced with serious German flak I know which I'd rather be in.)   But in about the same timeframe the RAF was moving away from big guns towards rocket projectiles.  I see nothing in the service records of FR208 and FR209 that supports even tenuously an alternative narrative to these aircraft being acquired by A&AEE for testing (eg to see how the US tackled the problem of fitting high velocity cannon into airframes - the cyclical recoil system devised specially for the 75mm gun in the B-25 might have been of particular interest), handed around other similar research and test bodies (eg GRU) after which the aircraft were used as runabouts, in which role they proved so useful that FR209 was later fitted with a glass nose and survived to be the last Mitchell in RAF service.  Sorry.     

 

Off now to see what Kitsworld have come up with for an RAF B-25J ground strafer.

 

PS I have the same edition of The Secret Years as Ross. 

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Here's the photo in my edition of "The Secret Years"- and now that I look again I see that it does have de-icing boots on wings and tail.

 

bob

 

p.s. Sorry about the distortion at the tail, but should do for our purposes.

Edited by gingerbob

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11 minutes ago, Seahawk said:

 

Off now to see what Kitsworld have come up with for an RAF B-25J ground strafer.

 

Well it's there all right: 

 

https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/KW72089

 

But NB this is CWHM's "Hot Gen" painted up as a Mitchell of 98 Sq.  The real aircraft saw no military service and CWHM have not painted up a serial.  Surprised they could't find a glass nose for a more realistic representation.   So the case for the RAF's ever having used B-25 ground strafers remains with the prosecution.

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7 hours ago, gingerbob said:

Here's the photo in my edition of "The Secret Years"- and now that I look again I see that it does have de-icing boots on wings and tail.

 

bob

 

Lovely clear shot.  Shows clearly the ghost of the USAAF side marking.  Also shows something I've never noticed in any photo of a 75mm-armed B-25: that the nose is not a smooth curve (as per Italeri) but bulges out slightly around the gun muzzle. 

 

PS The Aeroplane Spotter photos are really too murky to be absolutely positive but I do not think the nose MGs are present. 

Edited by Seahawk

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The RAF used their Mitchells as medium-level bombers.  Taking large aircraft into the intense flak environment low-level wouldn't fit.  The ORBs of the Mitchell squadrons are available for study - anyone seriously offering this idea is able to try to find any low-level missions.  There's never been any suggestion I've seen, in a number of dedicated books, on use with the shipping-strike squadrons of Coastal Command.

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I agree with Graham. It is excellent WHIF and/or comic book territory - both of which I enjoy greatly when well done - but it is alt-history rather than history. None of this stops a person making a model, of course!

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20 hours ago, Murrodels said:

 That massive F would probably imply that it is FR209, no? In the book is the tiny white on the tail any clearer perchance? I am gonna go with just the roundel on the fuselage over an OD covered USAAF number. 

The tiny white blur on the tail is the only mystery now. 50% modellers, 50% investigators, 


Thanks gents

Hi, Murrodels,

 

Well, no. It would be the aircraft's individual letter. The two-letter squadron code would be missing in this case; usually, Mitchells in RAF service carried the individual letter on the nose and the squadron code on the fuselage next to the roundel.

 

Fernando

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