Betty's Dream | B-25J Mitchell

Betty's Dream

Scroll down for more images of Betty's Dream, a B-25J "Mitchell" Bomber.

Named in honor of General Billy Mitchell, pioneer of American military aviation, the B-25 Mitchell was manufactured by North American Aviation and saw service in every theater of WWII.

Just when the B-25 bomber was considered the most modern aviation technology, Maj. Paul I. "Pappy" Gunn, an engineer in Australia, removed the bombardier-navigator from his greenhouse compartment in the nose of a B-25 and found he could install eight forward-firing .50-caliber machine guns in the aircraft. Thus was born the low-level B-25 strafer.

Capt. Charles E. “Pop” Rice, Jr. became Operations Officer of the 499th Squadron and was assigned to Betty’s Dream in June of 1945. Co-piloted by Victor Tatelman, it escorted two “Betty” bombers carrying the Japanese peace envoys to Ie Shima on August 19, 1945, and again on the return mission from the conference in Manila with General MacArthur’s staff. By the time these talks ended World War II, Betty’s Dream carried 22 mission symbols and two silhouettes representing sunken Japanese ships.

The 345th Bomb Group Association reunion, November 8-12, 2012, commemorated the 70th anniversary of the group's activation at Columbia Army Air Base on November 11, 1942. The Texas Flying Legends Museum was present with our B-25 Betty's Dream and 9 of the 18 veterans in attendance were able to fly! Thanks to Steven Richardson, EAA Chapter 242 Columbia, SC, for sending us this video.


It was Captain Francis Low who first came up with the idea to use air craft carriers to launch bomber planes from the sea instead of the mainland. After some practice runs the B-25 became the aircraft of choice, and the rest is history...



Jonna Doolittle Hoppes (the granddaughter of Jimmy Doolittle) talks about the history and science behind the Doolittle Raid on Japan. Although it was the first joint effort between the Air Corps and Navy, it turned out to be a major victory and turning point for the United States.

Crew: 6+
Length: 52 ft 11 in
Wingspan: 67 ft 6 in
Height: 17 ft 7 in
Wing Area: 610 sq. ft
Empty Weight: 20,030 lbs
Loaded Weight: 34,000 lbs
Powerplant: 2 x Wright R-2600-35 engines, air-cooled (1,700 hp)
Power/Mass: .11 hp/lbs
Max Speed: 275 mph
Range: 1,350 miles
Service Ceiling: 25,000 ft
Rate of Climb: 790 ft/min
Armament: 14 x .50 cal. Browning Machine Guns (10 firing forward at one time), up to 3 x 1,000 lb bombs

Lt Mike Ciser, Harold Ciser's grandson, recreates the photo that his grandfather took as a crewmember on Betty's Dream, 1943.

345th Bombardment Group - Air Apaches
and the B-25 "Mitchell" Bomber

by Rene' Armstrong

Click here to read the full account.

RITA'S WAGON

The Rita's Wagon picture easily illustrates how war and comedy can clearly coexist. Note the markings above their heads showing how many planes and ships had become their victims; then, note the kitchen sink. They had been so successful in moving the Japanese farther back by throwing everything at them, that someone decided they should throw the kitchen sink at them too.

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