Never Seen before picture of B25-H "BONES" in the CBI Theater
Bones of the 12th bomb group (medium)
Flight Journal, Oct 2002 by Pace, Steve
The 12th Bomb Group (M), equipped with B-25C/D, B-25H and B-25J Mitchell medium-class bombers from mid-1942 to
mid-1945, served with three Army Air Forces in WW II-the 9th, 10th and 12th. After the Group had earned its combat
spurs with the 9th and 12th Air Forces in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations, it was transferred to CBI
(China/Burma/India) in March 1944 under the command of the 10th Air Force.
One B-25 Mitchell assigned to the 12th BG (M) was the 1,000th and last B-25H (S/N 43-5104) manufactured at the North
American Aviation (NAA) Inglewood, California, plant. As this B-25H was special, USAAF commanding general "Hap"
Arnold permitted those who worked on the airplane to write their names on it. Sometime during this autographing, it
was nicknamed Bones.
Later, while at Columbia Army Air Base, South Carolina, the B-25 was assigned its first crew, and it departed from
Morrison Field at West Palm Beach, Florida, on November 11, 1944. On December 1, Bones arrived in Feni, India, where
it was assigned to the 12th BG's 82nd Bomb Squadron.
Through the month of December, Bones was involved in several successful missions against enemy targets. In early
1945, its pilot, 2nd Lt. Robert Allen, said, "Bones is a running fool. We love this ship; and we ought to, for it
has brought us 15,000 miles without a complaint. It's temperamental, but we're on to all of its tricks."
Toward the end of WW II, Bones had a low-altitude midair with a large vulture that went through the right windshield
and just missed the copilot. The crew was forced to return to base. The War ended a few days later, and it was never
flown in combat again.
Soon after V-J Day, a salvage crew was assigned to prepare Bones for the long flight home. They balked at the fetid
smell inside it; apparently, no one had cleaned up the vulture. Unfortunately, Bones' final resting place isn't
Photo courtesy of Mike Matesich. 82nd Bomb Sqdrn 12 Bomb Group Oct 44 - June 45
Copyright Original Scan
post edited by Mates - 2007/10/03 20:57:31