On April 18th, of 1942, these planes made history in the Doolittle Raid of World War 2. Named after U.S. Army General Billy Mitchell, these twin-tailed aircraft are B-25 Mitchell Bombers. These U.S. aircraft became a great asset after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 and are honored with yearly tour flights that help keep their history alive. “This type of plane is the same one that launched off of the carrier in the Dolittle raid on the very first bombing raid over Tokyo.”, EAA Pilot Tom Euing told of the history of these great warcraft.
“We consider ourselves docents and caretakers of that history more than pilots. and that’s what we do is we take this plane around and honor those World War 2 vets”, said Euing. The spirit of aviation stay’s in the air with the support of the Experimental Aircraft Association, or the EAA. “If history is not passed down you know it’ll be gone. Unfortunately, World War 2 veterans are there’s not a lot left.”, said Volunteer David Stohl.
After take-off, during these flights, attendees are able to unbuckle and move about these flying pieces of history. Tom Fox is the Coordinator of these tours and has been assisting with these flights for over 20 years and it’s been a great opportunity for these relatives to experience what their fathers or grandfathers might’ve flown in times of war. “It’s important for the families to help connect it’s important for the older men just to remember and to honor those that did it”, said Fox.
Friends and family had the opportunity to fly in the B-25 Bombers and Amy Gleeson, whose family is ecstatic over aviation said, “I was surprised at how smooth it was actually it was definitely a bucket list moment.”
“Opportunities like this in our area are huge for our veterans you know they spend quite a bit of time serving their country whether they were drafted or they chose and enlisted”, said Veterans Experience Officer Timothy Ellison.
The service from our veterans encompasses strength that stretches throughout our nation. These flights and others like it keep this history alive and remembered. Click here for more information regarding these tour flights.