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B25 G Bombers w/ 75MM M4 Cannon on a Combat Mission WW2 USAAF Aerial Action Footage

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Video of US Army Air Force flyers in B-25G (PBJ-1G) Mitchell bombers equipped with a 75mm M4 cannon / gun on strafing and bombing missions during World War II. This is a compilation of newsreel and film clips and show part of a mission by the 7th Army Air Force over the Marshall Islands. Also shows part of another mission in color by an unknown unit over an unknown Pacific island. Thanks for watching and please like, comment, share and Subscribe! Also please feel free to use YouTube's embed feature to put any of my videos on your blogs, forums, articles, & websites, etc. Subscribe/Channel Homepage: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMduFNeBB04kWlRnLOV3y_Q Follow on Tumblr at: http://historyflicks4u.tumblr.com/ and Twitter at: https://twitter.com/HistoryFlicks4U
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Text Comments (116)
Helve Hammer (1 month ago)
Somewhere long ago I read that a lot of the perceived need for the 75mm went away (at least for naval targets) after Pacific theater B-25 and other crews got pretty good at skipping regular HE bombs off the water and into the sides of ships. As you can imagine it took a lot of skill and practice to avoid all the different ways to miss a boat with a bomb delivered this way! But once enough of a force to do it was built up the 75mm was over and 10, 12, 14 and 16 Forward Facing Fifty Cal. installations were done instead. The way I heard it was they "walked" all that fire from stem to stern suppressing any AA fire and then switched over to their skip-bomb approach. The article went on to say (this was in "Air Classics" magazine, late 60s) that about 250 pound bombs seem to work best. Of necessity they were fused for 3-5 second time delay and as 500 pounders usually went right out the other side of cargo ships they weren't often used. Also said that a real sharp team could hit the boat right at the water line - and even a *dud* bomb could sink small ships that way, occasionally.
Andy W (3 months ago)
Thats really cool.
RandyLeftHandy (4 months ago)
So they operated kind of like torpedo planes? Low and flat?
vijay mehra (8 months ago)
Those are not B25s...
Davey Bernard (10 months ago)
SOLD! what gunshow loophole do I need?
James Taylor (10 months ago)
Wish it would have shown the hits and damage the shells did bit still I love these older historic film clips.
Querencias7 (10 months ago)
That is ONE AWESOME WEAPON to add to a B-25!
DrTeknical (11 months ago)
My father was in the 500th Sq of the 345th BG, 5th AAF. When he went overseas, it was in a brand new B-25H. He and another pilot left from Columbia, SC and flew to San Francisco. There, a full bomb bay fuel tank was installed and a "real" (as my Dad called him) navigator came on board. They then flew to Hickam Field on Oahu, Hawaii. By Themselves! The full bomb bay tank was removed, and a half bomb bay tank was installed. My Dad and the other pilot then "island hopped" to Townsville, Australia where they turned their plane over to the armorers. In fact, most H models never saw much service with the 345th. One of the modifications of the H was the removal of the co-pilots position to make room for ammo storage for the 75mm cannon. This was a very very bad idea, since most missions that groups like the 345th and 38th flew were at 150 FEET and below! If the pilot of an H model was killed or disabled, the plane and the other crew were instantly doomed to crash. There was almost a mutiny among flight crews over this issue! Most H models were stripped for any and all parts that could be used on Cs and Ds, Gs, and later J models. As other posters have noted here, most crews wanted the full 8 to 12 gun 50 caliber nose gun setup, as it provided a truly amazing amount of firepower on target during strafing runs. The G model was indeed very effective against Jap shipping, and did sink destroyers, frigates, and innumerable barges and luggers. For most missions, the massive amount of 50 caliber fire, along with 23lb parachute-retarded para-fragmentation and para-demolition bombs was the best combination of firepower. If you haven't seen it yet, watch "Mission to Rabaul" on YouTube. Other videos of the amazing 5th AAF will be suggested to you as well! as well.
Fred Taylor (6 months ago)
flyingto hawaii hellish
Jon Stenberg (10 months ago)
Wow, that's awesome! I had Doolittle's great granddaughter sign his autobiography. She goes to college near me. Have his signature also on an art print. I'll def check out 345th BG webpage!
DrTeknical (10 months ago)
Thanks Jon! If you're interested, the 345th BG webpage has all of the original mission reports available. Through them, I've been able to trace exactly which plane my Dad flew on every mission he was pilot on. I can read from his logbook, and know exactly what his plane did each time he went out! As you can imagine, this is very exciting for me! I've always had two B-25 pilot WWII heros in my life: My Dad, and General Jimmy Doolittle!
Jon Stenberg (10 months ago)
DrTeknical great post! Thanks
Matt Johnson (1 year ago)
That is so awesome!!
U.K Air rifles Hunting&Target (1 year ago)
i recognize those islands . This is blatant copy write . Warthunder got there first i'm sure . Between the first release of planes and the Navy release is easily a couple of generations . ;-)
Baltic Hammer (1 year ago)
Thanks for uploading the video. I'd seen stills of the 75mm installed but no action. I'll bet the pilots and aircrew kept a close watch on the airframe for stress cracks.
bill leach (1 year ago)
yes it can
bill leach (1 year ago)
this is the gun  of size  first  this is gun ship  type  1  75  mm hv sucked any how
Jonny Beck (1 year ago)
A shame the pix is stretched to fit...
okrajoe (1 year ago)
Fascinating technology.
The Ack Show (1 year ago)
My father was a design engineer at the B-25 plant in Kansas City Kansas. He worked on the design of the Factory 75mm mount there. He was the first person to fire a 75mm round on the range over Fort Riley, Kansas. He recalled the event as knocking 50-74 MPH off the airspeed and blowing the bubble off the front of the plane. As someone suggested in here this commentary smaller loads were used in regular operations. I would assume that they used a standard 75mm round that day. There is another newsreel on YouTube that show my father handing shells up through the front wheel well. https://youtu.be/x7XmzaL2xyU
Jeff Lebowski (1 year ago)
The forerunner of the AC-130.
Ben M (1 year ago)
Amazing. Thanks.
lordieshepherd (1 year ago)
Too many suggested strips on these videos. Thumbs down
bongodrumzz (1 year ago)
the germans also had something like this, the He129 uhu (owl) it had a 75mm borderkanone, carried 12 rounds in an autoloader and they sorted the recoil problem with shallow diving attacks and a heavy duty recoil mechanism, a right cheeky little number which suffered from lack of numbers, mostly used against russian tankers in the east
Kurt 104 (1 year ago)
Nut just lack of numbers, they were designed to use second tier engines
Terd Ferguson (1 year ago)
Warthunder?!!?!??! where you at????
John S (1 year ago)
Brought to you courtesy of P.I. "Pappy" Gunn.
John S (1 year ago)
Read the book "Indestructible" by John R. Bruning. It tells a fascinating story about this guy's life and exploits during WW II.
Ron Hoffstein (1 year ago)
Sound? Is there any?
DrTeknical (10 months ago)
WWII 8 or 16 mm movie film. No, there isn't any sound! HaHa!
batmandeltaforce (1 year ago)
First A-10
batmandeltaforce (8 months ago)
I bet they could only use it in a dive without stalling:)
Kurt 104 (1 year ago)
the Spad biplane was the first to mount a cannon
Driveway Nats (1 year ago)
Should have test fired it at those flimsy Tokyo houses
Duck ,formally known as Censor (1 year ago)
I wonder if the same kind of thinking that built the A-10 went into this plane. "Hey this french cannon sure is awesome, but you know what would be more awesome? If we could make it fly".
ChasePlays (4 months ago)
No the person that built and modified the first strafing A-20A Havoc and B-25 was Paul “Pappy” Gunn. He was in his 40s and put a total of 140 guns on the first B-25. They worked so well that they were used throughout the pacific war but never saw action in the West. There is a book about Pappy called “One Mans Rescue Mission That Changed The Course Of Wold War Two” or I think you could also search “Indestructible” it’s a really good book if you like World War Two and you like the USAAF.
immikeurnot (10 months ago)
IIRC, this mod got its start as one done in the field. Some 20-something crew chief and his pilot probably got together and thought exactly that.
Sierra MatchKing (1 year ago)
Forerunner of the AC-130 gunship.
DenseAlloy (11 months ago)
Sierra MatchKing I was thinking the same thing (posted as much on other vid) that and the A10 but saw the later comments and think others thinking same. Of course I'm saying it tongue in cheek as I know it is a different war, a mod, different mission, different gun and different ammo, before anyone thinks I am being to serious.
JosephK109 (1 year ago)
Yes and No. The Warthog has a 30mm GAU-8/A rotary 7-barrel gatling gun. It does put out a ferocious amount of firepower; it is about a one inch cannon (25.2 mm = 1 inch) firing at 4,200 r/p/min. It has depleted uranium shells that are of the exploding type and render a modern tank into a large pile of junk in just seconds. The 75mm cannon was the standard infantry and naval cannon during WW1 and even continued on in WW2 as the main gun of the M-4 Sherman tank. While the 75mm shells are high-explosive, it is a low-velocity cannon, whereas the shells of the GAU-8 are high velocity and rip a target to shreds in seconds due to its high rate of fire. While the 75 mm cannon fires one shot, the GAU-8 fires 4,200 shells per minute. The continuous fire of the GAU-8 would most likely bring the B-25G out of the sky, whereas the one-shot 75mm had a recoil-absorbing carriage which kept it from doing major damage to the B-25. The C-130 gunships use a 105 mm cannon with a recoil-absorbing carriage; latest reports are that the c-130 airframe is taking damage from the 105 cannon. The Air Force is looking into a better recoil absorbing carriage for the C-130 Hercules which is still in production today. It is the modern version of the DC-3. It is very difficult to compare the two planes. They are, at a minimum, one generation apart, and the DC-3 weighs, fully loaded, about 25,000 pounds with 2 x 1,200 horsepower engines. The C-130 has a maximum weight of 155,000 pounds and uses 4 x 4,600 shaft horsepower turboprops and a payload of approximately 72,000 pounds. The C-130 is a STOL aircraft; it can land, back up by reversing its prop pitch, and then take off in less runway length than it took to land. I witnessed that at Quonset Point NAS in the early 1970s; "Fat Albert", the support aircraft of the Blue Angels Naval Flight Demonstration Team, performed that demonstration for the cheering crowd. Different generation; different airplane.
• Benjamɪn • (1 year ago)
Jonathan Hughes Nope
dapsapsrp (1 year ago)
The Dakota was introduced in 1965 on an outdated airframe while the C-130 Spectre was introduced in 1968. The Dakota was barely a forerunner and only by a few short years.
Jonathan Hughes (1 year ago)
Moreover, the concept (moderate-sized plane with a big ol' gun for ground attack) is the forerunner of the A-10 Thunderbolt II "Warthog".
Geoff Conroy (1 year ago)
I still have in my possession a brass casing from one of these modified 75mm cannons is it of any historic value to a museum???
Benjy Beyens (1 year ago)
That's awesome. The grandparents of my girlfriend (France, WWII) have got two carved 75mm shells as well.
bongodrumzz (1 year ago)
it might be, there were a lot of italian pow's taken during WW2 during the east african campaign, and they often turned old 75mm casings into brass flower vases etc, i have one my dad bought as a souvenir
TechNiVolt (1 year ago)
Probably. Give it to the planes of fame museum in California. They would love it.
KAVE -227 (1 year ago)
soaringtractor (1 year ago)
Still Air Force !!! DUUUHHH!!!!!! ZOOOOOOMMMIES !!!!!
Kyle ____ (1 year ago)
There was no air force in the second world war. It was the US Army Air Corps.
BUtch (1 year ago)
That was navy version, this is the air force one.
DRAGONF1RESr (2 years ago)
I like how they say "this portion is silent" This is only because it is not "newsreal footage, that the producers have ADDED sound to. If you listen to the audio, you will notice, that there is no, or very weak engine noise, but you can hear clearly the 75mm cannon, the .50 cal, something that sounds like a 37mm belt fed cannon, and other small arms fire.
illuminati_pepe (2 years ago)
Its a Pbj
MakeMeThinkAgain (2 years ago)
This might have been better in the ASW role.
Matthew Weisenburger (2 years ago)
"can and have sunk a destroyer" i thing WT needs a patch
ChasePlays (4 months ago)
Another good book about the inventor of the A-20A Havoc and B-25 strafers and 75 mm is called “Indestructible”
jaelon meggs (7 months ago)
tbyte not really, not for destroyers at least. Some arnt even armored and at most they might have an inch of steel over vital components which to my understanding makes them vulnerable to .50 cal rounds.
jim s (10 months ago)
75mm is as big as your ankle and about 12" long. Weighs ~40#. Ain't no MG!
DrTeknical (10 months ago)
Bronco53 If you can find a copy of it locally, I'm sure that you would enjoy reading Larry Hickey's book Warpath Across The Pacific. It tells the complete story of the 345th Bomb Group (5th AAF) in the SW Pacific during WWII. As you already know, they sank numerous Japanese warships, luggers, and barges with .50 cal gunfire from B-25 Cs, Ds, Gs, and Js.
DrTeknical (10 months ago)
Jon enker26 ... You Know Nothing
AH6OY (2 years ago)
Hey Phil my dad flew the B-25's too. He mentioned how it seemed like a good idea some place in command to mount the 75mm but the gun would loosen rivets so they got taken out. Good riddance was the pilots view since they were heavy effecting flight performance and took a man away from his usual job. Every firing took 5kts off their speed and they'd have to nose up to lob 75mm's. Pilots didn't like playing up and down while trying to line up good 50 and bomb hits either. Lots of low level flying typically lower than this video as a rule for their patrols search and destroying. Glass noses were for Europe guys. Dads fighting while in the 38th bomb group saw the planes progress from glass nose to finally go into their best configuration of solid 50cals nose and sides. Command wanting to see whats being sunk had them take cameras telling them make a turn to get a picture of damage and such. One pass was all it took and the ships would be sunk by time they got a turn to see damage and type. So they'd give the camera to a guy in the back and jink out of there as usual. Busy boys. If just 50cals didn't sink the ships the bomb would. 12 50cals make a world of leaks and hurt. Those B-25's did solo weather missions checking weather and looking for enemy sinking anything found. They even found unknown of Japanese bases sometimes. Trees and ships antenna wires hanging off of planes after landing. Kind of feel sorry for some of the Japanese when a squad of patrolling B-25's would find them and have all that 50cal and bombs eating them up. B-25's got the parachutes on bombs pretty quick after a few cases of bombs bouncing back up through the plane. One plane in my dads group survived a bomb bouncing back up through the plane. Heard some had the bomb go off when bouncing back up into them. Tough job. Towards the end of the war the rear 50cals were removed and fake wooden barrels installed. The bottom turrets in the pacific were removed in the early part of the war due to that guy wouldn't get much to shoot and trees could ruin his day and if the turret was damaged the guy couldn't get out. The bottom turret would take a lot of hits always flying their missions at low level. Not good when all shot up since like some unfortunate souls the bottom turret guy would die from belly landings.
Barrett Mulford (8 months ago)
rancid pitts (10 months ago)
DrTeknical Rarely mentioned is the post factory modification centers and field modifications. Modification Centers did Official changes at the request of gaining Command or Unit. Field mods were done by the using unit to tailor the Aircraft to the mission needs. Any configuration that fit the needs or desires was possible. My mother worked on the B 17 production line at Douglas. They were curious as to whatever became of their babies. The USAAF sent information and photos by Tail Number ; all had been modified since factory. My mom built a standard model. The owning unit Tailored it to fit.
DrTeknical (10 months ago)
UUmmmm, the B-25's bottom turret was sighted and fired via a periscope! NOT by having a guy in it like a B-17. That said, all it ever accomplished was to make the gunner airsick! They were all removed to make room for a bigger bomb/ammo load-in. My Dad was a pilot in the 345th of the 5th.
MakeMeThinkAgain (2 years ago)
+AH6OY Yeah, I'd rather have the usual 12 .50 caliber.
Carl gray (2 years ago)
My father flew one of those B-25's with a 75mm.The Visious Virgin l & ll. He'd say " I like to announce my arrival with the 75."
Eric (2 months ago)
jan gray https://www.worldwarphotos.info/gallery/usa/aircrafts-2-3/b-25-mitchell/b-25-vikins-vicious-virgin-nose-art-cannon-cbi-china-burma-india/
DrTeknical (10 months ago)
Which BG and Squadron was your Dad in?! Hopefully, the 345th!!
xboxgamer (1 year ago)
I guess the US also had a Vicious Virgin, we brits had a Halifax Mike nicknamed 'Vicky The Vicious Virgin'
Thiravet Pramuanratkarn (2 years ago)
Now that I know why that Hollywood movie (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9V9ik07qvMM) is entitled, "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo." (See subtitle at 2:25 in the video)
Goetz Liedtke (2 years ago)
My uncle maintained these aircraft among others in the Pacific Theater. He flew with the B-25s on missions as an observer. He told me that the aircraft lost a few knots of airspeed with each firing of the 75mm cannon. The aircraft his maintenance crews supported also had rockets. The rockets were loaded onto the underwing racks by shoving them back on a rod that engaged the tail of the rocket and then shoving the front part of the rocket up into the ignition mount. The pilot would fire the rockets with a switch that sent a fire voltage to one rocket per wing in a ripple. My uncle lost an airman when the pilot's switch was installed (or repaired) into the electrical ignition backward. As soon as the loader shoved the rocket into the mount socket, it fired and burned the man to death.
Withab BJ (2 years ago)
The Mosquito also experimented with the use of a 57 mm rapid firing cannon.
R Greenup (8 months ago)
The 6 pdr used in the Mosquito with a crew of two was fitted with an auto loader, it is credited with being used air to air in one instance blowing a ME110's engine out of the wing.
soaringtractor (1 year ago)
The "flying tooth pick" !!!!
Dan Zervos (2 years ago)
The 57 mm fired about a 6 pound round, the 75 mm had about a 15 pound round.
MarsFKA (2 years ago)
+Withab BJ It was used operationally for a short time. In his 1957 book, “Flames In The Sky”, Pierre Closterman tells how a pair of Coastal Command Mosquitos, armed with the 57-mm 6-pounder, caught a German destroyer on its own. Staying out of range of the flak, the Mosquitos fired repeatedly at the ship, puncturing its boilers and wrecking its turbines. They left the ship dead in the water and, the next day, two Coastal Command Liberators sank it with bombs.
karlbushtheII (2 years ago)
That cannon is wicked. Imagine how loud that must have been! Just think of how hard reloading that thing must have been, amazing.
Stephen Coleman (2 years ago)
The 75 was a nice touch but I think they would have been better served by using the space to add a couple of more .50's you can NEVER have enough of those
Terry Davis (1 year ago)
I read somewhere that the plane would actually shudder and slow with the recoil!!
Dan Zervos (2 years ago)
I think the 75 mm was primarily for attacking merchant ships, allowing them to hit the ship before coming within range of the ships anti-aircraft guns.
Terry Davis (2 years ago)
+Stephen Coleman I agree.  P-38J = one 20 mm, four .50 cal.  In the nose.  Makes it hard to miss.  75 mms must have been for bridges or cliff gun emplacements.
Geoff Conroy (2 years ago)
I retrieved a 75mm Cannon from a wrecked B25 Bomber shot down in NAURU Island and i also have in my posession a shell cartridge from the plane, It was mounted on a special aluminium frame and fired a much shorter round than a standard 75mm shell,obviously a standard round cannot be used it would tear the gun out of the mountings.It was moving realising that the wreckage ended good mens lives RIP.
sharkbot25 (2 years ago)
the could have mounted a sherman tank turret on the fuselage ,could be used for 360 degree fire
William Cox (2 years ago)
The B25J and H were (some of them) equipped with the '75, which was not particularly highly regarded for a couple major reasons.  On one hand, the rate of fire for the early model was extremely slow (as seen in the footage).  On the other hand, the recoil was so fierce for an aircraft that it rocked the whole plane (also clearly shown in the test fire footage) and slowed it down when fired, causing it to drop several feet with every shot.  Watch carefully and you'll see the firing planes go nose down instants after discharge.  When you're close to the ground this is an extremely dangerous characteristic.   The later model of 75mm gun, the T13, had a much higher rate of fire, along with a space and weight saving concentric recoil mechanism, and so was handier in use. Still, many pilots preferred removing the cannon altogether (which could be done in the field), in order to carry 8x 5" HVAR (free flight rockets), which, while far less accurate and shorter of range, hit a lot harder than a single round from the cannon.  The final versions of the cannon armed B25 had as many as 8 forward firing .50cal Machine Guns clustered around the nose and provisions for the eight rockets, as well. "Weight of metal" for these late versions was considerable and any target caught in the crosshairs was in for a terrible time.
DrTeknical (10 months ago)
Hello William! The B-25 G and H models had the 75mm cannon. No Js were produced that way. For the SW Pacific, many Js came with the factory-installed 8 gun 50 cal nose job. Four more 50s, 2 per side on the fusilage, were often added in the field. The top turret could be swiveled to the front, and locked into "bore-sight" with the other 12 50s to give a staggering total of 14, 50 cal machine guns available during strafing attacks. After every burst, the co-pilot frantically pulled charging levers (cable actuated) to clear each gun before the next burst was fired, to clear any jammed guns to make sure that they were ALL firing!
ERIC BRAMMER (2 years ago)
Yup! it bucked ya!! For God's sake, did the aft gunner get an extra Ass/Para pack on b4 you shot the main gun breeche-ward up his Bum? If not, you'd have a pissed off rear gunner, broken plane, and an Air Warden wondering who the-hell you were! My Uncle flew , USAAF, B-17's and B-26's , and a few B-25's, plus others, mostly in the Euro/Medit area,'42 on. He had an few kills to his credit, too.It was odd to find him! . Then to again once I figured out it made sense in regards
Erik Van der Zee (2 years ago)
+ERIC BRAMMER you're missing the point entirely, and both my grandparents served in the war for your information my mothers side was a navigator in a b-24 and the other ran landing craft in the pacific. The ONLY thing I was making a joke about was the enormous recoil of the cannon..
ERIC BRAMMER (2 years ago)
Sorry, Majestic, while I follow your path in In the thought process, IT IS NOT WHAT MY FATHER NOR UNCLE observed .. SERVING this Country 71 years ago! Game on, certainly, unknowing of whom you may represent, it becomes you and your languid generation. Sims are nice, but NOT complete! My Kin gave of their souls for your generation's "next" abilities within the context of a free democracy, and YOU had better live up to those standards! It ain't free, dude! Moreover, it isn't a fricking GAME, then, it was WAR and the winner got to come Home, IF, If he got to come home, he won. Try a reperspective on Your expectations, Eh? And, maybe, a bit of RESPECT?!
Erik Van der Zee (2 years ago)
+ERIC BRAMMER it's a game using a cheat to provide instant reload times to a 75mm aircraft cannon. Realism is not part of the discussion lol I'm just talking about the enormous recoil :P
FlippinDingDong (3 years ago)
The color footage is from "Winged Artillery", and is footage of the 48th Bombardment Squadron, 41st Bomb Group, 7th Army Air Force bombing Milli Atoll in January 1944.