Corgi AA35310 USAAC North American B-25C Mitchell Medium Bomber - "Legal Eagle," 1st Lt. George Bauer, 489th Bombardment Squadron, 340th Bombardment Group, Landing Ground 99 (El Kabrit), Egypt, 1942 (1:72 Scale)
"In the future, war will be waged essentially against the unarmed populations of the cities and great industrial centers."
- Italian General Giulio Douhet
Built by North American, with no previous experience on multi-engined aircraft, the B-25 Mitchell proved to be one of the most versatile combat aircraft to see action in World War II. So impressed with what they saw on the drawing board, the USAAC ordered 184 aircraft -- to be designated the B-25 -- before metal had even been cut on a revised design.
Christened the Mitchell after maverick army bomber proponent William 'Billy' Mitchell, the bomber fought not only with the USAAF in the Pacific and ETO/MTO, but also with US Navy/Marine Corps, British, Dutch and Australian units. By war's end, the veteran Mitchell had outlasted its rivals from Douglas and Martin to become the most prolific American medium bomber of the conflict. Today some 34 remain airworthy across the globe.
This particular 1:72 scale replica of a B-25C Mitchell medium bomber was nicknamed "Legal Eagle," and piloted by 1st Lt. George Bauer of the 489th Bombardment Squadron, 340th Bombardment Group, then deployed to Landing Ground 99 (El Kabrit), Egypt, 1942.
Release Date: April 2008
Historical Account: "Heavy Losses" - The 340th Bombardment Group was a World War II United States Army Air Forces combat organization. It served primarily in the Mediterranean, African, and The Middle East Theatres of World War II.
Operational squadrons of the 340th Bomb Group and tail codes were the 486th(6B), 487th(6N), 488th(7T), and 489th(9T) Bombardment Squadron.
The unit was constituted as 340th Bombardment Group (Medium) on August 10th, 1942 and was activated on August 20th. Trained with B-25 Mitchell bombers for duty overseas. Arrived in the Mediterranean theater in March 1943. Assigned first to the Ninth Air Force IX Bomber Command and later (in August 1943) to the Twelfth Air Force when the Ninth was reassigned to England.
The 340th served in combat from April 1943 to April 1945. Engaged chiefly in support and interdictory missions, but sometimes bombed strategic objectives. Targets included airfields, railroads, bridges, road junctions, supply depots, gun emplacements, troop concentrations, marshalling yards, and factories in Tunisia, Sicily, Italy, France, Austria, Bulgaria, Albania, Yugoslavia, and Greece.
Also dropped propaganda leaflets behind enemy lines. Participated in the reduction of Pantelleria and Lampedusa in June 1943, the bombing of German evacuation beaches near Messina in July, the establishment of the Salerno beachhead in September, the drive for Rome during January-June 1944, the invasion of Southern France in August, and attacks on the Brenner Pass and other German lines of communication in northern Italy from September 1944 to April 1945.
In January 1944, Colonel Charles D. Jones was the commanding officer of the 340th Bombardment Group. On March 10th, 1944, while participating in a bombing mission with the 486th Bombardment Squadron, he was shot down and became a prisoner of war (POW) for the remainder of the war. Colonel Jones later received the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) for this mission.
The 340th Bombardment Group probably suffered the loss of more aircraft than any other medium bombardment group during World War II primarily because of two devastating events that occurred in addition to their normal combat losses. The first of these events was the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in March 1944 when the 340th just happened to be based at Pompeii Airfield near Terzigno, Italy, just a few kilometers from the base of the mountain. The second event was a surprise German air raid of their base at Alesani, Corsica on May 13th, 1944. Estimated losses were 75 - 88 B-25 Mitchells from Vesuvius and approximately 60 aircraft from the German air raid.