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 - November 2021