65th Anniversary



  • Yes they could have made a belly landing on the hornet, however are you willing to risk 2 of the 3 carriers we had in the pacific to retrieve 16 medium bombers?  16 B-25’s would not even constitute a fighter in axis and allies, while two carriers would certainly correspond with a carrier in the real game.  Which unit would be more important to you in a game of axis and allies assuming you play.  So no, I do not believe it was foolish, the leadership played it safe.  Both carriers used would play vital roles in the years to come.  If lost would Japan have been stopped at Coral Sea or reduced at Midway.


  • 2007 AAR League

    those bombers could have landed?  news to me.  b/c they couldnt of.  how exactly would you slow down such a huge frame to be able to stop on the carrier.  even belly landing wouldnt do it.

    they had no hook to latch on, and that wouldnt work anyways b/c the bomber is too heavy.

    belly landing is also dangerous, especially on a carrier.

    so how again would it be possible to have the planes land on the carriers.



  • I don’t know, if those heavy bombers could take off on the short runway, I’d think that they could land somehow if fuel permitted it.  They would be lighter coming back with less fuel (or none, perhaps) and no bombs.



  • Clearance was the issue.  They had a few INCHES clearance between the wing tips and the superstructure of the Carrier.  There is NO WAY to by that accurate on landing.

    Also, taking off from an AC (pre-steam catapult) is very different from landing.  Before the steam catapult, you had to “turn into the wind” and the Carrier ran anywhere from full to flank speed INTO the wind, then the aircraft ran at maximum RPM’s on the engine and the wheel chocks were pulled once they were at full power.

    This gave the aircraft the maximum benefit for air flow over the wings for lift (wind speed plus carrier speed plus aircraft speed).  At a dead stop in no wind, WWII FIGs would have simply rolled off the end of the flight deck and gone into the sea.

    There is no reverse of that force additive for landing, except a tail hook, which the B-25 was not designed to have (if retro fitted with them, they would have ripped the tail off the aircraft), even if by some miracle 16 crews could have all managed to land more perfectly than an FA-18 with modern avionics.

    Lastly, Doolittle’s Raid had to launch earlier than planned due to being spotted by an enemy patrol.  The extra 200 miles of flight time is what doomed the mission, otherwise there actually WAS a reasonable chance for them to reach a safe base in China.

    BTW:  An interesting tid-bit (at least to a former Zoomie like me).  The B-25 was named after Brigadier General William “Billy” Mitchel who in the 1920’s fought for an increase in US airpower, proved that aircraft could reliably be used to attack naval vessels, and created the concept of Strategic Bombing.  He is a hero of the United States Air Force, and the Cadet Dining Hall at the United States Air Force Academy is named after him.



  • It’s not so much that the planes we worth retrieving, but the crews themselves.  The planes were mainly skeletons anyway…
    Either way, it’s a moot point if getting near the carrier again was impossible.

    BG Mitchel…was he the one that bombed two antiquated battleships off the Carolinas to show the potential of airpower?



  • yeah,he bombed to german ships confiscated from WW1…one was a battleship one a battle cruiser i think.


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