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Date: Friday, 9 July 1943
Place: Tampa, Florida, USA
North American B-25D-15 Mitchell "Lady Jane" (#41-30409) probably belonging to 23rd Antisubmarine Squadron, 26th Antisubmarine Wing. Originally armed with Lockheed A-29 Hudsons, the 76th Bombardment Squadron operated on patrol from Batista Field, Cuba on February 28, 1943 as part of the 25th Antisubmarine Wing under an agreement between the United States and Cuba signed June 12, 1942. Formally designated the 23rd Antisubmarine Squadron on March 3, 1943, the unit was assigned to the 26th Antisubmarine Wing on March 9. Several other USAAF antisubmarine squadrons flew out of Cuba during the war. Returning to Drew Field, Tampa, Florida, on April 24, 1943, the squadron re-equipped with the B-25 at Langley Field, Hampton, Virginia on July 9, returning to Florida on July 23. On August 5, the 23rd began flying patrols out of Edinburgh Field, Trinidad, until October 15, 1943, when the squadron was transferred to I Bomber Command. The ground echelon of the 23rd was disbanded at Smoky Hill Army Air Field, Kansas, on the same day; other squadrons' ground crews serviced the aircraft on deployment. A detachment of the 23rd's B-25s flew out of Zandery Field, Surinam, until December 1943. From October 1943 until December 1943 three crews from the 23rd Antisubmarine Squadron, flying 75-mm (3-inch) cannon-armed B-25Gs patrolled in conjunction with the United States Navy's VP-210, which flew the Martin PBM Mariner flying boat. The Mariners would use radar to locate surfaced U-boats, and then illuminate the target for the B-25s. However, no targets of opportunity were located, and the manual loading and low velocity of the 75mm cannon prevented an adequate test of this arrangement. The 23rd Antisubmarine Squadron left Trinidad on December 24, 1943, returning to Drew Field, Florida and was disbanded on February 6, 1944 at Clovis Army Airfield, New Mexico. With the U-boat threat reduced and adequate resources available, the Navy took over all antisubmarine operations and the USAAF antisubmarine commands were disbanded. Drew Field is now Tampa International Airport.
United States Air Force