Photo: Drew Naylor
TB-25N Mitchell “Yankee Doodle”
Restored to flying condition
Designed by North American Aviation of Inglewood, CA as a medium bomber intended for level bombing from medium altitudes the B-25 Mitchell also saw extensive service in the Pacific Theater performing low level strafing and skip bombing missions on enemy airfields and shipping. B-25s served in every theater of operation and were flown successfully by the United States, British, Dutch, Russian, Chinese, and Australian Air Forces. The B-25J represents the final production version of the B-25 and first flew on 14 December 1943. A total of 9,889 B-25s had been built by the time production was halted in late 1945.
The TB-25N on display was built at the North American Aviation facility in Kansas City, KS and was ready for delivery in August 1945; but because the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) contract for B-25s had been cancelled, the aircraft has placed in storage at Altus, OK. Removed from storage in 1948 and assigned to Bolling Field, D.C. this Mitchell was converted to a pilot trainer and redesignated as TB-25N. After assignments at Bolling, Kelly, Offutt, and Wright-Patterson Air Force Bases 45-8898 was released for disposal in 1959 and stricken from USAF inventory.
After being sold for $2,202 in 1959 to Mr. H.H. Coffield of Rockdale, TX 45-8898 sat derelict in Texas until 1983 when it was purchased by Mr. Vern Rayburn and trucked disassembled for a complete restoration by Mr. Tom Reilly of Kissimmee, FL. In the process, its center section was replaced with one from another B-25. After the restoration was completed in 1986, this Mitchell was based in Avra Valley, AZ until 1997 when it was sold to Mr. Don George of Springfield, IL. In 2004, 45-8898 was purchased by the Tri-State Warbird Museum.
Serial Number: 45-8898 | Tail: N898BW
North American Aviation
August 19, 1940
Crew: Pilot, Co-Pilot, Navigator/Bombardier/Gunner, Turret Gunner/Engineer, Radio Operator/Waist Gunner, Tail Gunner
Engines: Wright R-2600-13 Double Cyclone 14 cylinder air cooled twin-row radial
Max Speed: 275 mph at 24,200 ft
Offensive Armament: 3,000 lbs of bombs normal missions, 4,000 lbs of bombs short range missions
Defensive Armament: 1 nose mounted .50 caliber machine gun, 2 turret mounted .50 caliber machine guns, 2 tail mounted .50 caliber machine guns, 2 waist mounted .50 caliber machine guns
Wingspan: 67 ft, 7 in
Length: 52 ft, 11 in
Height: 15 ft, 10 in
Max Weight: 27,051 lbs
Service Ceiling: 24,200 ft
Max Range: 1,275 miles with 3,200 lbs of bombs
Fuel Capacity: 974 gallons