Second World War bomber B25 gets repaint at Duxford

The newly painted North American B-25J Mitchell bomber

The newly painted North American B-25J Mitchell bomber - Credit: Archant

A Second World War bomber, which formed the inspiration for Joseph Heller’s novel Catch 22, has received a detailed repaint from experts at Duxford Imperial War Museum.

The newly painted North American B-25J Mitchell bomber

The newly painted North American B-25J Mitchell bomber - Credit: Archant

The aircraft has been repainted to represent the North American B-25J Mitchell 43-4064, which served with the 488th bomb squadron of the 340th bomb group, 12th Air Force, in the latter stages of the conflict.

American author Heller served as a bombardier in the 488th squadron and missions carried out in the B-25J Mitchell were the basis for his novel.

The historically-accurate repaint was completed over a period of six weeks by a team of three conservation experts.

Chris Knapp, section head of conservation at Duxford, said: “We’re really pleased with it, the guys worked really hard.

The newly painted North American B-25J Mitchell bomber

The newly painted North American B-25J Mitchell bomber - Credit: Archant


You may also want to watch:


“With so many American bases locally, there is a lot of interest in these bombers. We had to bring someone in to do the nose art, as we don’t have sign writers, but the rest was all done in-house.”

Andy Robinson, conservation officer, said: “We wanted it to look as authentic as possible, obviously it’s fresh paint but it was important to us that it was a realistic representation of a working aircraft. It took three or four coats to complete and we’re happy with the result.”

Most Read

The aircraft will be displayed in the newly transformed American Air Museum at Duxford, which reopens in March next year.

The newly painted North American B-25J Mitchell bomber

The newly painted North American B-25J Mitchell bomber - Credit: Archant

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter