B-25 Mitchell with Royal Australian Air Force

Last revised March 11, 2000

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) was rather late in adopting the Mitchell, and actually operated only a relatively few examples of the type. The first Mitchells actually arrived in Australia almost immediately after Pearl Harbor, these planes being initially intended for the exiled Netherlands East Indies Air Force (NEIAF). However, these planes were quickly snapped up the USAAF. The NEIAF did not get their first permanent B-25s until late 1942. These served with No. 18 Squadron, which was formally a part of the RAAF but whose planes carried the Dutch flag insignia of the NEIAF and were flown largely by Dutch crews (although Australians as well as other nationalities also took part).

It was not until the spring of 1944 that the Australians were to get Mitchells that were flown in RAAF insignia and which carried RAAF serials. Fortunately, by the spring of 1944, No. 18 Squadron had more than enough Mitchells than which could be used by just one squadron, and could now spare a few. Arrangements were made to re-equip the RAAF's No. 2 Squadron with these extra aircraft. The first batch of 20 B-25Ds were transferred from the Dutch contracts to the RAAF in late April of 1944. RAAF serials assigned to these planes were A47-1 to A47-20. They were followed in June/July by five more B-25Ds (A47-21/25) and seven B-25Js (A47-26/32). Five more B-25Ds (A47-33/37) were delivered in August of 1944 and two more B-25Js (A47-38 and -39) in September. Many of the later B-25Ds carried field modifications which included a tail gun, waist gun positions below the mid-upper turret, and "cheek" gun packs mounted on the side of the fuselage.

The Mitchells replaced the Beauforts previously used by No. 2 Squadron. No. 2 Squadron flew sorties in cooperation with the Dutch-operated Mitchells of No. 18 Squadron against targets in the East Indies. Both squadrons achieved considerable success in the anti-shipping role.

The final 11 Mitchells that were delivered to the RAAF were B-25Js serialed A47-40 to -50. They were handed over between April and August 1945. These aircraft came directly from the USAAF rather than from Dutch stocks. However, only two of them (A47-41 and A47-43) actually ended up with No. 2 Squadron.

No. 2 Squadron ceased operations on November 14, 1945. Its aircraft were placed in storage until March of 1950 when most of them were scrapped.

Serials of RAAF Mitchells:

42-87138/87452		North American B-25D-25 Mitchell
				87255 to NEIAF as N5-171, later to RAAF as
					A47-36.  struck off charge 3/50.
				87258 to NEIAF as N5-174, later to RAAF as
					A47-37.  lost en route 8/45.
				87259 to NEIAF as N5-175, later to RAAF as 
					A$7-33.  lost on operations 12/44
				87416 to NEIAF as N5-168, later to RAAF as
					A47-35.  struck off charge 3/50.
42-87453/87612		North American B-25D-30 Mitchell
				87607 to NEIAF as N5-183, later to RAAF as
					A47-1.  struck off charge 3/50.
				87608 to NEIAF as N5-186, later to RAAF as
					A47-34.  struck off charge 3/50.
43-3280/3619		North American B-25D-30 Mitchell
				3422 to NEIAF as N5-187, later to RAAF as
					A47-2.  crashed 12/44
				3423 to NEIAF as N5-181, later to RAAF as
					A47-3.  lost on operations 9/44.
				3424 to NEIAF as N5-189, later to RAAF as
					A47-4.  Scrapped 12/46.
				3426 to NEIAF as N5-192, later to RAAF as
					A47-5.  struck off charge 3/50.
				3427 to NEIAF as N5-193, later to RAAF as
					A47-6.  crashed 9/44.
				3607 to NEIAF as N5-194, later to RAAF as
					A47-7.  struck off charge 3/50.
				3613 to NEIAF as N5-195, later to RAAF as
					A47-8.  lost on operations 11/44.
43-3620/3869		North American B-25D-35 Mitchell
				3621 to NEIAF as N5-196, later to RAAF as
					A47-9.  crashed 12/44.
				3623 to NEIAF as N5-197, later to RAAF as
					A47-10.  struck off charge 3/50.
				3624 to NEIAF as N5-198, later to RAAF as
					A47-11.  scrapped 12/44.
				3625 to NEIAF as N5-199, later to RAAF as
					A47-12.  ditched 9/44.
				3626 to NEIAF as N5-200, later to RAAF as
					A47-13.  crashed 8/44.
				3766 to NEIAF as N5-201, later to RAAF as
					A47-14.  struck off charge 3/50.
				3767 to NEIAF as N5-202, later to RAAF as
					A47-15.  struck off charge 3/50.
				3768 to NEIAF as N5-203, later to RAAF as
					A47-16.  scrapped 8/45.
				3769 to NEIAF as N5-204, later to RAAF as
					A47-17.  struck off charge 3/50.
				3770 to NEIAF as N5-205, later to RAAF as
					A47-18.  struck off charge 3/50.
				3789 to NEIAF as N5-213, later to RAAF as
					A47-21.  struck off charge 3/50.  
				3790 to NEIAF as N5-206, later to RAAF as
					A47-19.  Crashed 9/45.  
				3791 to NEIAF as N5-207, later to RAAF as
					A47-20.  scrapped 6/44.  
				3830 to NEIAF as N5-190, later to RAAF as
					A47-22.  struck off charge 3/50.  
				3832 to NEIAF as N5-212, later to RAAF as
					A47-23.  scrapped 10/45.  
				3867 to NEIAF as N5-216, later to RAAF as
					A47-24.  crashed 12/44.  
				3869 to NEIAF as N5-215, later to RAAF as
					A47-25.  struck off charge 3/50.  
43-27473/27792		North American B-25J-1 Mitchell
				27689 to NEIAF as N5-220, later to RAAF as
					A47-26.  struck off charge 3/50.  
				27691 to NEIAF as N5-219, later to RAAF as
					A47-27.  struck off charge 3/50.  
43-27793/28112		North American B-25J-5 Mitchell
				27927 to NEIAF as N5-224, later to RAAF as
					A47-28.  struck off charge 3/50.  
				27928 to NEIAF as N5-225, later to RAAF as
					A47-29.  struck off charge 3/50.  
43-28113/28222		North American B-25J-10 Mitchell
				28181 to NEIAF as N5-227, later to RAAF as
					A47-32.  struck off charge 3/50.  
				28183 to NEIAF as N5-231, later to RAAF as
					A47-31.  struck off charge 3/50.  
				28185 to NEIAF as N5-229, later to RAAF as
					A47-30.  struck off charge 3/50.  
44-28711/29110		North American B-25J-15/17 Mitchell
				29021 to NEIAF as N5-232, later to RAAF as 
					A47-38.  struck off charge 3/50.
				29024 to NEIAF as N5-235, later to RAAF as 
					A47-39.  struck off charge 3/50.
44-29911/30910		North American B-25J-25/27 Mitchell
				30888 to RAAF as A47-40. crashed 10/45
				30889 to RAAF as A47-41. struck off charge 3/50
				30890 to RAAF as A47-42. struck off charge 3/50
				30895 to RAAF as A47-43. struck off charge 3/50
				30896 to RAAF as A47-44. struck off charge 3/50
				30897 to RAAF as A47-45. struck off charge 3/50
44-30911/31510		North American B-25J-30/32 Mitchell
				31253 to RAAF as A47-48. struck off charge 3/50
				31254 to RAAF as A47-47. struck off charge 3/50
				31255 to RAAF as A47-46. struck off charge 3/50
44-86692/86891		North American B-25J-30/32 Mitchell
				86855 to RAAF as A47-50. struck off charge 3/50
				86859 to RAAF as A47-49. struck off charge 3/50


  1. B-25 Mitchell: The Magnificent Medium, N. L. Avery, Phalanx, 1992.

  2. Medium with the Mostest--The B-25 Mitchell, Jerry Scutts, Air International, Vol. 44, Nos 2 and 3, 1993.

  3. Boston, Mitchell, and Liberator in Australian Service, Stewart Wilson, Aerospace Publications, 1992.

  4. Famous Bombers of the Second World War, William Green, Doubleday, 1959.

  5. North American's Flying Gun--The Story of the B-25 From Paper Airplane to Legendary Bomber, Jack Dean, Wings, Vol 23 No 4, 1993.

  6. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.

  7. United States Navy Aircraft Since 1911, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Naval Institute Press, 1990.

  8. North American B-25A-G Mitchell, Aircraft in Profile, Doubleday, 1966.

  9. Jane's American Fighting Aircraft of the 20th Century, Michael J. H. Taylor.