B-25J-1-NC, 43-3890, 82nd BS, 12th BG, 10th AF, Fenny, India, December 1945
Constituted as 12th Bombardment Group (Light) on November 20, 1940, the unit was activated on January 15, 1941. The crews trained with
B-18, B-23 and PT-17 aircraft and patrolled the west coast after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour. The group was redesignated as
Medium in December 1941 and started flying the B-25s early in 1942. After spell with 9th AF in Mediterranean theater the group, nicknamed
“Earthquakers”, moved to India in February 1944 and was assigned to 10th AF. The 43-3890 was nicknamed “Milk Run” with paintings of five
small, adorable bulldogs. Bulldog was a squadron´s mascot, the term “Milk Run” was used for easy, low-risk missions and several other
aircraft were named similarly. The painting was a job of Capt. Norman L. Harms, one of the second pilots of the unit. The “Milk Run” ship was
painted in standard camouflage of Olive Drab upper and side surfaces with Neutral Gray from bottom.
B-25J-10-NC, 43-36020, 501st BS, 345th BG, 5th AF, Tacloban, Philippines, April 1945
One of the paintings of Sgt. George M. Blackwell, who decorated several other aircraft of 345th Bomb Group, was the “Reina del Pacifico”
(Queen of the Pacific), the B-25J-10-NC of serial number 43-36020. The large nose art was one of the most stunning paintings on the B-25s.
Blackwell started this painting at the end of November, finishing it at the beginning of December 1944. The ship was shot down during the
mission over Saigon on April 28, 1945, when 2/Lt. M. R. Esty and 2/Lt M. E. Miller were in the pilot seats. All five crewmembers were killed in
the subsequent crash. The ship had the paint scheme of the Olive Drab on upper and side surfaces with Neutral Gray undersides and sported
the earlier variant of the Indian emblem on the vertical fins. It is not known whether or not the newer, simplified version of the Air Apaches
emblem was painted on the vertical fins prior to the crash of the Reina del Pacifico.
INFO Eduard - September 2021