Locked75mm Cannon Armed B-25

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2006/04/20 07:26:24 (permalink)
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75mm Cannon Armed B-25


I almost hate to trot out the 75mm cannon armed B-25 subject but while researching something else I found the line art graphic at attachment, extracted from
http://www.aerofiles.com/b25-cannon.jpg I think it’s too good a reference document not to pass on. 
 
Accompanying photograph extracted from http://www.warbirdsresourcegroup.org/URG/b25mitchell.html
 
Take what you like and leave the rest….
 
Andy

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jonjac
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RE: 75mm Cannon Armed B-25 2006/04/20 22:28:27 (permalink)
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Will try to attach a photo of a B-25 with the 75mm sticking out of the nose.  Also in the photo is Jack Fox, No. American Rep, who along with "Pappy" Gunn and the 3rd Bomb Gp. at Charters Towers, Aust. ramrodded the conversion of the B-25s to low level straffers.
Jack
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jonjac
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RE: 75mm Cannon Armed B-25 2006/04/20 22:31:40 (permalink)
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Will try again.

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RE: 75mm Cannon Armed B-25 2006/04/20 23:51:23 (permalink)
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jonjac,
 Here's a good view of a B-25 w/ 75mm cannon taken at Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio  Jim
 

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RE: 75mm Cannon Armed B-25 2006/04/20 23:52:51 (permalink)
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Lets try this again!

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jonjac
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RE: 75mm Cannon Armed B-25 2006/04/21 08:51:54 (permalink)
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I would say there is a problem with the Forum, since neither of us had any luck attaching a photo.
Jack
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jonjac
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RE: 75mm Cannon Armed B-25 2006/04/21 14:19:42 (permalink)
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Try again.
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Hemiman
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RE: 75mm Cannon Armed B-25 2006/04/21 19:32:21 (permalink)
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Test ... Well, I concur Jack.. Sumpthin's tain't right!!

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RE: 75mm Cannon Armed B-25 2006/04/21 19:42:29 (permalink)
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Third times a charm! Right? We'll find out.

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Hemiman
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RE: 75mm Cannon Armed B-25 2006/04/23 12:33:48 (permalink)
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Well, there is a pic posted in the B-25 section that shows  the N.A. Rep, Mr, Fox, with one of the first Cannon equipped -25's that was being tested by the 3rd Attack Group..
 
Bill
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RE: 75mm Cannon Armed B-25 2006/04/29 00:46:08 (permalink)
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Here is a front view of a B-25H that shows the 75mm cannon. 
 
Jim
 
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Ken a B24 Fan
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RE: 75mm Cannon Armed B-25 2006/05/02 16:48:35 (permalink)
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That had to have practically stopped the plane in flight when that monster was fired! What was the muzzle velocity, and how heavy were the rounds? What happened to the spent shells?

I'll bet the recoil and noise was pretty intense.

Ken

Ken Alexander
Proud son of 1st Lt. Clair B. Alexander Jr.
Pilot, B-24s: 10/12/1944 - 04/24/1945
15th AF, 49th Wing, 461st BG, 764th BS
Torretta Airfield, Cerignola, Italy
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k9iua
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RE: 75mm Cannon Armed B-25 2006/05/03 13:45:46 (permalink)
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My uncle trained as a B-25H pilot in late 1943, and flew them in the Pacific (42nd BG) along with other models of the B-25 (lots of time in J's in late 1944).
 
From what I understand, this is the same cannon as in the Sherman M-4 tank, so the muzzle velocity, etc., would be the same as the rounds used with those.  It was enough to literally stop the plane for part of a second.  You had to come in with engines full out to keep your forward momentum (but then they did that anyway on low-altitude skip bombing and strafing passes anyway).
 
The 42nd BG used the cannons only briefly, and for the most part took them out of the planes again, substituting one or two machine guns in its place.  The cannon literally shook rivets off the plane - you would come home from a mission and find rivets missing all over the place.  The ground crews hated that cannon for that reason.  The cannon was fired by the navigator-cannoneer, a dual-rated position.  I assume the empty casings just collected in the plane.
 
Kevin Anderson
 
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RE: 75mm Cannon Armed B-25 2006/05/05 18:45:59 (permalink)
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There were three B-25 groups in the Mediterranean area during war 2 with one, a fourth, flying B-26’s that converted to B-25’s in 1944.  They were the 310th, 319th, 321st, and the 340th.  I was a top turret gunner in the 310th Bomb Group, 381st Squadron.  One of our four squadrons, the 379th, operated from North Africa in and around the Greek Dodecanese islands flying G or low level sea sweep missions against German shipping.  The other three squadrons of the 310th flew these same type G missions along the coast of Italy from the beautiful island of Corsica in early 1944.
 
I flew only 10 of these very exciting missions ranging along the coast of Italy and Southern France. To answer the question about these ‘cannon totin’ Mitchell’s we flew read on…this is the way I remember them…
 
The 75mm (3”) cannon shells were 26 inches long and weighed 20 pounds each and were stored in a rack just above the breech of the big gun and back of the pilot. The rack contained 20 fused shells. This 75 mm had a upward sliding breech block that retracted down at full recoil, ejecting the used shell casing and the Cannoneer would then, as fast as he could, slam the next sell into the open breech causing the breech block to slide up to be instantly fired by the pilot who had his finger on the trigger all the time during the run.
 
This, of course, meant that when the cannon was fired the aircraft would instantly fill with powder smoke on each shot and since the forward firing 50 caliber machine guns were being fired also the inside of the ship became filled with smoke.  It blew out quickly since the big waist windows were open to the elements. The very hot ejected shells just rolled around on the floor until the sometimes violently maneuvering aircraft attack run was over and the shell casings could be put back into the rack.  The Cannoneer had to be very careful not to stumble over the ejected cases since the live cannon shells were fused and ready to go.  To drop one in the confined gun compartment area would be a fatal disaster for all of us. He had to move quickly away from the gun while loading the shell since the three foot recoil of the big gun was an extremely fast, dangerous and violent movement.
 
The cannon run was marked by the aircraft’s reaction to the big gun recoil that felt like hitting a soft but solid wall in the air…the aircraft did not stop --  it just felt like it…the cannon could be fired as fast as the loader could load it.  The entire nose of the aircraft was covered with the flaming red flash of the muzzle blast…it was awesome!  The runs were exciting and fast, low level flying. I remember seeing twin prop wash ‘wakes’ behind us as German green tracers flew past my turret mixed with the angry black 88 flak bursts mixed with gray 20mm and 40mm anti aircraft fire.
 
gu   310/381
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