Cat 7. USA  Operations Jackson

Texts by Wilko Jonker / Translated from Dutch by Ronald van Voorst (lees Nederlandse versie hier…)

Due to the Japanese war threat it was decided early 1942 to move the Java flying school. From May 1942, this became the Royal Netherlands Military Flying School (RNMFS) in Jackson, Mississippi USA. About 30 B-25C’s were used for the training of airmen. (A number of these were originally destined for the ML-KNIL in the Indies, but they came too late due to the Japanese attack. Some of these planes were therefore also used by the RAF for European operations.) (US troops were stationed on the Dutch Antilles from 1943 and they used their own B-25 Mitchells.)

The first operation training phase on the B-25 would start in February 1943 and therefore ten B-25C’s were delivered to the RNMFS in Jackson USA by the end of November 1942 to start the conversion of the instructors. By pure coincidence, the first B-25’s came from the original order of 162 for the ML-KNIL. These had been taken over by the USAAF after the capitulation of the Dutch Indies. On arrival of these planes, it turned out that the necessary wiring for the Sperry bomb sights was not present. This meant a return to the factory near Kansas City. The correction for the first plane took one week, which was considered too long by the RNMFS. Therefore the rest of the modification work was done in-house in Jackson, but by mid-April 1943, only four planes were operational with Sperry equipment.

An additional ten B-25’s were requested and in April and May 1943, five B-25C’s and five B-25D’s were delivered. These had the Sperry bomb sights already installed, so the operational training could start in earnest.

In October 1943, again ten B-25’s were requested to finalise the program in time. Due to necessary technical inspections and maintenance, it was not possible to keep a sufficient number of planes operational. Due to the time pressure, these planes were not obtained via an official Lend-Lease request. Instead they were delivered on a loan basis via the AAFTTC (Army Air Force Technical Training Command). These were B-25G’s armed with a 75 mm canon in the nose. They continued to be the property of the USAAF. This in contrast with the first B-25’s that were Dutch property and were therefore carrying red-white-blue nationality markings on the fuselage and wings.

One B-25D and one B-25G were lost at the RNMFS and when the school was closed, the remaining planes were given to the USAAF as Reverse Lend-Lease.

On return of the B-25’s some problems arose regarding the financial settlement of the loan as there had not been made any official arrangement on the conditions, but not much time was spend on resolving this.

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Photo Selection from the Dutch "Beeldbank NIMH" of Dutch Department of Defense that may be useful for modellers. (made available by the NIMH through links) :

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Navigation flight from Jackson Air Force Base via Curaçao in the Dutch Antilles to Paramaribo Suriname with B-25 Mitchells. Seen is the '423'. Photo: Beeldbank NIMH (linked with permission)

Training of personnel in the USA. Third from right is the Dutch Prince Bernhard. A B-25 is seen in the background. Photo: Beeldbank NIMH (linked with permission)

 

Registrations and codes: RNMFS Jackson
Registratie Constructienummer Datum in dienst Datum uit dienst Opmerkingen
??   1943   ..
 423 ?       .
 499 ?       .

  References and sources:   ????... foto's

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The content in Dutch was first published Summer 2004 by M. de Vreeze; translated by Ronald van Voorst September 2017

(C) Text and Contents: strictly copyright IPMS NEDERLAND; no part may be re-used without written permission