B-25 MITCHELL MODELS
The C and D were basically the same model, but built at different plants. The C-model was built at Inglewood and the D at Kansas City. There were no waist guns and no tail guns. Apart from a top turret in the waist, there was a remotely controlled retractable belly turret which caused drag when lowered and the gunner often became dizzy and disorientated due to a poor sighting system. There was also a flexible .30 nose gun in the early version of the C/D. There were self-sealing main and auxiliary tanks in the wings and a ferry tank could be installed in the bomb bay. In later C/D-versions it was also possible to install tanks in the waist and a 335 gallon jettisonable metal bomb bay tank or a self-sealing 215 gallon bomb bay tank. The internal bomb load was 3000 lbs. An additional 2200 lbs could be carried on wing racks. Mid and later C/D version had provisions for a torpedo.
B-25C and D in B-26: The Marauder Strikes! The B-25C and D are different versions in B-26 to reflect changes which were made on the models during the period they were manufactured. The C-model includes the earliest versions of the C and D with a .30 cal. machine gun in the nose. B-25C-5 simulate changes made on the C and D to increase fire power with a flexible and fixed .50 in the nose. This version will also have auxiliary tanks in each wing. Finally, the B-25D includes all following changes made on the C and D. It will lack the lower turret, but include wing bomb racks, two fixed .50 and one .50 nose gun and can carry a torpedo.
B-25C and D Field Modifications To increase the defensive capabilities of the C and D models additional armor and guns were installed and the lower turret deleted in field modifications, either before leaving the US or at field modification centers in the MTO or PTO. The 321st Bomb Group had their bombers modified in Georgia and Alabama before they went to North Africa. The other B-25 units modified their bombers in the Therater. In the PTO a B-25C was modified for strafing, skip boming and low-level bombing missions. The lower turret was removed and four .50 machine guns were put in the nose in the bombardier’s position, plus a pair of .50s in a pod on each side of the fuselage, beneath the cock-pit were added as were a .50 och each side of the waist. It turned out to be a successful conversion and many more C/D’s were modified into strafers. The observer’s dome in the tail was often deleted and the opening faired over. On some conversions one or two .50 tail guns were installed. The green house was painted over and decorated with colorful art of bats, dragons and falcons. The later J-model with a green house could also be seen with extra machine guns in the nose. The modications made on the C/D were incorporated on following models, waist guns and nose gun pods, for instance.
B-25G and H
One B-25C was modified to hold two fixed .50 and one 75mm cannon in a solid nose. It also had the fuselage pods and the lower turret and the top turret in the waist. After the initial tests and a total of six modified B-25Cs this version became the B-25G when produced, plus another 58 C-models were modified and redesignated as B-25G. It was widely used in the PTO from July 1943. Some were used in the MTO, but with heavier oppsition it was used only for a short period. The B-25Gs in the PTO were further modified in Australia with more guns and armor. Gun pods on the fuselage, two more nose guns and waist guns were installed. Some even had twin tail guns with the gunner in a small green house.
The first H-model prototype was also a B-25C. The co-pilot’s position was removed and a seat was instead provided for a navigator/cannoneer. The lower turret was deleted and the top turret was now moved to the front of the plane, just infront of the bomb bay. A lighter version of the 75mm cannon would follow on the production model accompanied in the nose by four .50 machine guns. The first H-models had only one pod with two .50 on the right side of the fuselage, but another on the left side was added. The H had a larger green house for the tail gunner and two waist guns. It was used in the PTO from February 1944, but the cannon turned out to be unnecessary as targets for it became scarce and the large number of machine guns could be as effective on many targets as the cannon, and it was not liked by the groups. In the fall of 1944 many H-models were transferred to the 38th Bomb Group who were operating G-models and appreciated the H. A few went to the CBI Theater and others were sent to depots.
The final B-25 model was the J. It had a co-pilot and a green house nose with a bombardier. There was also a strafer nose with eight .50 machine guns. It had four package guns on the side of the fuselage a flexible .50 in the nose and one fixed .50, two fixed on later Js, the same tail green house as the H-model and also the same type of waist gun positions. The top turret was in front of the bomb bay. Later Js could carry rockets under the wings. They entered combat in April 1944 in the MTO and began to appear in the PTO during the summer and fall of that same year.