B-25 B Airfix 1:72 Dolittle Ride
Once upon a time, when I was in elementary school, my favorite game was a strategy board game called Hell in the Pacific. Each player took the role of an air force commander and tried to destroy the enemy fleet, primarily aircraft carriers. There were many types of planes to be used in the game and despite the fact that it can be considered partially underdeveloped taking into account the current aviation knowledge, for
example in terms of the real strength and resistance to hits of individual machines, it was an extremely interesting entertainment at the time. So much for the introduction about my interests in military operations in the Pacific. Coming back to the current history of the Tokyo Raid of April 18, 1942, already at that time I considered it a unique event that changed the course of the war on a strategic scale. Yamamoto, due to the raid of 16 bombers and their tactically quite small impact, changes the direction of the attack on Midway, which ended the Japanese victorious march through the Pacific islands, moreover, he assigns a significant air force to defend the home islands, composed of trained pilots.
The whole epic, full of difficulties and unforeseen events, led to a complete success, as well as an increase in the morale of the inhabitants of the United States. another interesting fact was, that quite by accident I decided to fly a plane with its own name "Ruptured Duck". I had no idea that this plane played the main role in the movie "Forty Seconds Over Tokyo", and (I'm ashamed to admit it), I only got to know this movie when I started building the model.
The aircraft takes off on April 18, 1942 at 8.43 am as aircraft No. 7. On board it has a load of three 500 lb. high-explosive bombs and one AN-50A2 4-pound incendiary bomb in a bundle with a total weight of 500 lb. (102 incendiary elements). In the video before the start, problems with the ignition of one of the engines were visible. I have not been able to determine whether it was just the director's fantasy or a real incident.
The crew consisted of:
Pilot Lt. Ted W. Lawson, O-399549 (WIA, survived)
Co-Pilot Lt. Dean Davenport, O-427310 (WIA, survived)
Navigator Lt. Chas. L. McClure, O-431647 (WIA, survived)
Bombardier Lt. Robert S. Clever, O-432336 (WIA), survived
Engineer Sgt. David J. Thatcher, 19019573 (WIA, survived).
Due to contact with the enemy ship Nitto Maru No 19, the planes take off 10 hours ahead of schedule and have 160 nautical miles more to cover, which of course will affect the premature exhaustion of fuel.
Over Tokyo, the first bomb hits an aluminum smelter, the second bomb hits a tank factory, and the third bomb hits an arms depot. Elements of the incendiary bomb hit the industrial district, igniting nuisance fires. Then the crew, all the time flying at a very low altitude, reached the coast of China, where the fuel ran out. The plane lands at the shore in the China Sea west of Shangchow. The entire crew is more or less injured, however, they manage to inflate and board the life raft. The flight engineer whose injuries are the most superficial returns to the wreckage and takes out a first aid kit with meds. In the face of the situation, Engineer Sgt. David J. Thatcher takes command, forces the Chinese fishermen encountered to carry the three most wounded crew members through the difficult mountain terrain to a town occupied by Kuomitang forces. Thanks to his attitude, the entire crew was saved. Unfortunately, I do not know what decoration he received for his heroic attitude. In total, he was awarded the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Chinese Army, Navy, and Air Corps Medal, Class A, 1st Grade. I believe that for the mission on April 18, 1942, he could have received the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Model. The Airfix B-25 set can be considered really successful, requiring no aftermarket additions. However, for peace of mind and increased realism, I ordered bronze casts of the landing gear legs to strengthen it, because in order to prevent the plane from landing on its tail, it needs to be given a large amount of lead. I added about 40 grams of lead, literally pushing it into every free space of the nose. Here, a better solution is probably the aftermarket set of the nose compartment made of white metal, which, without interfering with the interior of the aircraft, significantly weighs down the nose. But here, unfortunately, it was a reflection after construction. The aircraft has a very rich interior, equipped bomb bay, tilted flaps and movable ailerons in the tail. It's a really well-designed kit. The downside are errors in the manual, referring to non-existent parts and frames with numbers, also wrong interior painting information. The plane was of course painted with Mr Color OD and NG paints, amd also good Oil Wash from Modeler's World brand. Final coat was X-35 semi gloss clear. I decided on the figures of the crew in the middle from the company of legends (excellent!) and the figures standing on the surface of the diorama, which was the laser-cut deck of the aircraft carrier. These unfortunately were not so good in desing as Legend brand. In addition, I used aftermarket decals by DK-Decal (there were some problems when applying the decals when I mixed up the diameters of the stars of the national markings. That would probably be all. Oh, I can say that the transparent parts were almost perfect, but the gray plastic parts were susceptible to breaking and you have to be very careful about it (my ladder broke). Well, all I can say is that Lieutenant Lis will return soon with another project, although in order to finish it before the end of the year, hopefully smaller and more cat-therapeutic...
PS. Today I realized that I am writing this article on the eve of the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Nothing happens by chance...
Weather was so bad during taking photos so You can see some water drops on Mitchell, and crew 🙂
Short slideshow about B-25 Ruptured Duck:
77 additional images. Click to enlarge.