Forces of Valor 85245 USAAF North American B-25J Mitchell Medium Bomber - 405th Bombardment Squadron, 38th Bombardment Group "Green Dragons", The Philippines, 1945 (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.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a USAAF B-25J Mitchell bomber attached to the 405th Bombardment Squadron, 38th Bombardment Group 'Green Dragons', then deployed to The Philippines during 1945.
Wingspan: 11.25 inches
Length: 8.75 inches
Release Date: January 2010
Historical Account: "Pacific Odyssey" - In Australia, the 38th was equipped with the B-25C Mitchells and new squadrons (405th, 822d, 823d) were assigned to the group along with the 71st. The group was assigned to V Bomber Command, Fifth Air Force and the group operated from bases in Australia, New Guinea, and Biak, September 1942 - October 1944, attacking Japanese airfields and shipping and supporting ground forces in New Guinea and the Bismarck Archipelago.
Major Ralph Cheli was awarded the Medal of Honor for action on August 18th, 1943: while leading the 405th Squadron to attack a heavily defended airdrome on New Guinea, his plane was severely hit by enemy fire. Cheli remained in position and led the attack on the target before his bomber crashed into the sea. Initially he was believed killed in the crash, but post war evidence indicates that he survived the crash but was executed in March 1944 by the Japanese while a POW on Rabaul. For his actions, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. What are believed to be Major Cheli's and other similarly executed POWs remains are now interred at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri.
The group was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for bombing and strafing Japanese troops and fortifications on Cape Gloucester, New Britain, December 1943, preparatory to the Allied invasion. Received a second Distinguished Unit Citation for two missions over New Guinea, June 16th and 17th, 1944, against Japanese airfields, merchant ships, and naval vessels.
The 38th moved to the Moluccas in October 1944 and bombed airfields, ground installations, harbors, and shipping in the southern Philippines in support of the US invasion of Leyte. Struck a large enemy convoy in Ormoc Bay in November 1944 to prevent the landing of reinforcements, the group being awarded a 3d Distinguished Unit Citation for the mission.
After moving to the Philippines in January 1945, the group supported US ground forces on Luzon, bombed industries on Formosa, and attacked shipping along the southeast China coast. Stationed temporarily on Palawan in June 1945 for participation in the preinvasion bombing of Japanese installations on Borneo. Moved to Okinawa in July 1945 and conducted several attacks on industries, railways, and shipping in southern Japan.