The Mitchell was one of the best allied medium bombers of World War Two. Ordered into production by the United States Army Air Corps in August 1939 it took just fifty-three weeks after receiving the initial contract before the first prototype took to the air on 19 August 1940. Large scale production began immediately and early models were in service by the time America entered the war in December 1941.
In April 1942 sixteen Mitchells, operating from the American aircraft carrier USS Hornet, made one of the most daring bomber raids in World War Two. They took off on a near impossible mission to bomb Tokyo in a raid of great psychological, if of little military, value.
The Americans did not use Mitchells operationally from the United Kingdom but based them with the 12th United States Army Air Force in the Mediterranean. However the British, Dutch and Russians received large numbers.
The Mitchell was one of the first aircraft with a nose wheel used by the Royal Air Force. Not only does it improve forward vision while the aircraft is on the ground but it improves ground handling.