The North American B-25 Mitchell, a medium bomber, was introduced in 1941 and named in honor of Major General William “Billy” Mitchell, a pioneer of U.S. military aviation.
The daring April 1942 Doolittle Raid brought fame to the B-25 bomber. The Doolittle Raid’s B-25s were the only aircraft to bomb Tokyo until 1944, when B-29 Superfortresses began operating from the Mariana Islands. The B-25 bomber soldiered in every theater of war, excelling in multiple roles. Chiefly as a ground-attack aircraft later in the war, many remained in service, operating across four decades after the war ended.
The B-25 bomber gained fame in the daring April 1942 Doolittle Raid. Lt. Col. James Doolittle humiliated the Japanese military by penetrating some of the world’s most formidable air defenses and dropping bombs a stone’s throw away from the Emperor’s Palace.
|Manufacturer:||North American Aviation|
|Engine:||2 × Wright R-2600-92 Twin Cyclone 14-cylinder air-cooled radial engine, 1,700 hp each|
|Wingspan:||67 feet, 7 inches|
|Length:||52 feet, 11 inches|
|Height:||16 feet, 4 inches|
|Maximum Speed:||272 mph|
|Armament:||12 12.7mm machine guns, 4,000 pounds of bombs|
The B-25 Mitchell flying as Old Glory has had a long career ranging from Army Air Force bomber in WWII in the Mediterranean, to civilian fire bomber and tanker here in the United States. After a complete restoration, she’s finally back in the air in her current military configuration.
Originally assigned to the 12th Air Force in Italy, the records have not yet been discovered to indicate which squadron or unit she may have been assigned to while in Europe.
After returning to the US in July of 1945 she was recalled for use in an administrative role in Spokane, Washington, and eventually assigned to McClellan Field, California where she was modified by Hayes and redesignated as a TB-25N. After nearly 10 years of service at McClellan, she was retired from service in December 1957.
After transitioning several times between retired and returned to service, as well as name changes including Dream Lover and Spirit of Tulsa, on September 16, 1995 she took her first flight as Old Glory. In August of 2019, she was purchased by David Prescott to be included in The Hangar at 743’s collection.
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