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A Brief History

The North American B-25 Mitchell was a medium bomber manufactured by North American Aviation. It was named in honor of General Billy Mitchell, a pioneer of U.S. military aviation.

North American was the largest producer of aircraft in the war by far. It was the first time a company had produced trainers, bombers and fighters simultaneously.

Paper Doll, when piloted by Lt. J.W. Yerger, was in service with the 321st BG. 447th BS Solenzara, Corsica. Paper Dolls crew chief was Sgt. W.C. Coursen. The aircraft was delivered to the unit in the bare metal finish. The OD camouflage on the upper surfaces was applied in late May 1944. Propeller hubs are painted blue – the official color of the 447th BS. Paper Doll flew a total of 125 combat missions.

B-25’s in The Doolittle Raid

Sixteen U.S. Army Air Forces B-25B Mitchell medium bombers were launched without fighter escort from an aircraft carrier deep in the Western Pacific Ocean. The plan called for them to bomb military targets in Japan, and to continue westward to land in China. Fifteen of the aircraft reached China, and the other one landed in the Soviet Union. Eight crewmen were captured by the Japanese Army in China; three of these were executed. The B-25 that landed in the Soviet Union at Vladivostok was confiscated and its crew interned for more than a year.

B-25-J-2 “Paper Doll”

321st BG. 447th BS

321st BG. 447th BS


Two Wright R-2600-35

1700HP on take

21,000 Empty 34,400 Lbs.

Wingspan - 67’7”
Length: 53’6”
Height: 16’4”

Guns: 12-18 x .50 Caliber Machine Guns
Bombs: 2,000 lb ventral shackles to hold
one external Mark 13 torpedo
8 x 5 in. high velocity rockets
3,000 lbs of bombs

Pilot, co-pilot, navigator/bombardier, turret gunner/engineer, radio operator/Waist gunner, tail gunner