Douglas Boston Mk V
Douglas Boston Mk V BZ631 P 'Jacqueline
XIII Squadron, 232 Wing, Italy 1944.
The Douglas Boston was one of many aircraft types operated by the Royal
Air Force during World War II under the lend lease scheme from the Americans.
Originally designated the DB-7 this medium bomber was the result of
a competition between Douglas, North American, Stearman, Bell, and Martin
to build a new bomber for the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC).
The new Douglas aircraft also received the attention of the French who
after the Munich Crisis ordered over 100 aircraft.
Now designated the A-20 by the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC)
an initial order was placed for the aircraft. The Douglas A-20 was powered
by two Wright R-2600-7 Double Cyclone 14 cylinder radial engines each
rated at 1,700 hp. The fuselage of the A-20 was divided into three sections,
the pilot's cockpit and the nosewheel bay beneath it, the bomb bay and
radio equipment, and the rear gunner's compartment.
On February the 20th 1940 the British Commission placed an order for
150 aircraft this was increased to 300 the following April. After several
modifications to the design the A-20 was adopted by the British and
renamed the 'Boston'. Boston Mk Is were fitted with two-speed supercharged
R-1830 engines and were used in a variety of roles. Fitted with AI radar
the Boston made an effective nightfighter and was renamed the Havoc,
some nightfighters were fitted with a 2,700 million cndle power searchlight
in the nose to illuminate enemy aircraft which were to be attacked by
accompanying Hurricanes and were called 'Turbinlite'.
The Boston was used in many theatres and proved to be a versatile aircraft.
Serving with the RAAF Flt Lt W. E. Newton flying a Boston became the
only aircrew in the Pacific theatre to receive the Victoria Cross.
Boston Mk IIIs took part in D-Day laying smoke to form a screen between
warships shelling the coast and landing craft approaching the beach.
The Boston modelled here is the Boston Mk V and was flown in the Mediteranean
theatre with XIII Squadron during the Allied Invasion of Southern Italy
The Squadron was deployed in March 1944 to Italy to give air support
to American 5th Army and British 8th Army (the Desert Rats) ground forces
fighting in the Italian campaign. The Boston Mk V, which was in many
respects superior to the earlier marques of the Boston, replaced the
Mk IV version on the Squadron in December 1944.
XIII Squadron was one of the four squadrons of 232 Wing engaged mainly
on night "interdiction" operations intended to hinder, and
so far as possible restrict, the movement of reinforcements and supplies
to the enemy front-line. Flares were dropped to identify targets when
there was no moon and bombs were released at heights generally below
2000ft. In favourable circumstances, targets were strafed by the pilot
using the 0.5in forward firing guns in the nose or by one of the two
Opposition to air operations at this stage of the Italian campaign was
light as air superiority by day and night was well-established. There
were losses, nevertheless, mostly to light flak. It was not extensively
used owing to the shortage of ammunition suffered by the German forces
with their supply problems at this time, but was noticeably accurate
on the occasions that it was used against the intruding aircraft vulnerable
as they were at the height at which they were flying.
Although these operations were very much of a routine nature, they were
an important adjunct to the daytime operations of the fighter bombers
in their role in support of the ground forces in restricting and virtually
preventing the movement reinforcements and supplies to the front-line
Scale 1:144 Wingspan 5.1" (130 mm)
Base size 6.37" (162 mm) square (No. 4)
Weight not including base 5 ozs (142 grams)
Total number of models produced 41