April 8, 2017 by Editor
Filed under Accolades & Awards, Area Events / Festivals, Historic Preservation, Lowcountry Places, Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum, Military, Regional News, Savannah, Those Who Defend, Those Who Serve, U.S. Air Force
*** B-25 Mitchell bomber, P-51 Mustang and SBD Dive bomber will offer rides!***
SAVANNAH, Ga. (April 8, 2017) – Three iconic World War II aircraft will bring history alive April 28-30 at Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV), 100 Eddie Jungemann Dr., Savannah, GA.
The Minnesota Wing and the Dixie Wing of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) will bring a B-25, “Miss Mitchell”; a P-51, “Red Nose”; and an SBD-5 Dauntless dive bomber for the enjoyment of aviation fans in the Savannah area. The trio of beautifully restored WWII warbirds will be at the SheltAir FBO, and the CAF will offer once-in-a lifetime rides in all three aircraft.
“It is an honor for us to visit Savannah and to cooperate with the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth,” said Jay Bess, Dixie Wing Leader. “We look forward to welcoming veterans and Savannah residents. This is part of a five-stop tour to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Doolittle Raid over Japan, and it is a rare opportunity for people to ride in three historic WWII aircraft.”
For the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, working with the Commemorative Air Force makes sense.
“We are all in the business of telling stories, and the aircraft the heroes of the Eighth Air Force flew are part of those stories. These iconic planes from WWII are part of history and we’re honored to be part of this visit,” says National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force President/CEO Henry Skipper.
To book rides and for more information click HERE.
About the B-25:
The North American B-25 Mitchell is an American twin-engine, medium bomber manufactured by North American Aviation (NAA). It was named in honor of Major General William “Billy” Mitchell, a pioneer of U.S. military aviation.
The B-25B first gained fame as the bomber used in the April 18,1942, Doolittle Raid, in which 16 B-25Bs led by Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle attacked mainland Japan, four months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The mission gave a much-needed lift in spirits to the Americans. Although the actual damage was relatively minor, it forced the Japanese to divert troops for home defense for the remainder of the war. Used by many Allied air forces, the B-25 served in every theater of World War II.
After the war ended, many remained in service, operating across four decades. Nearly 10,000 Mitchells rolled from NAA factories. Honoring American Military Aviation through flight, exhibition and remembrance. The Minnesota Wing’s B-25 is painted to represent the B-25J “Miss Mitchell”, which served in the 310th Bomb Group, 57th Bomb Wing of the 12th Air Force in North Africa and Italy, completing more than 130 missions. Its legacy of no crew fatalities during all of its missions was a rare accomplishment. This airplane has never seen combat. After a 12-year restoration by the Minnesota Wing of the CAF, Miss Mitchell took her first flight on April 18, 1992 — exactly 50 years after the day of the daring Doolittle raid.
About the SBD:
The Northrop Corporation developed the SBD before World War II. It was first flown in July 1935, but was considered obsolete by December 1941 when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Douglas Aircraft purchased the SBD contract and the SBD-1 was first delivered in late 1940. More than 5,000 aircraft were built before production of the carrier-based scout, dive and torpedo bomber ceased in July 1944.
Despite accusations that the aircraft was under-powered, vulnerable, lacking in range and exhausting to fly, the “Dauntless” helped turn the tide of World War II at the Battle of Midway on June 4, 1942. The “Dauntless” sank four major aircraft carriers of the Japanese Navy, ceasing Japanese expansion in the Pacific. The SBD also served with 20 U.S. Marine Corps Squadrons and many SBDs were retrofitted with Westinghouse ASB radar, the first to be used by the U.S. Navy.
Though considered obsolete on that “Day of Infamy” in the skies over Pearl Harbor, the SBD was the first American combat aircraft to shoot down a Japanese Zero fighter. The CAF’s SBD, one of four flying in the world, was produced too late to see combat.
About the P-51:
The North American Aviation (NAA) P-51 Mustang is an American long-range, single-seat fighter and fighter-bomber used during World War II, the Korean War and other conflicts. The Mustang was designed in 1940 by North American in response to a requirement of the British Purchasing Commission. The prototype NA-73X airframe was rolled out on Sept. 9, 1940, and first flew on Oct. 26.
The North American Mustang was one of the best fighters of WWII. The P-51s in service with the USAAF alone carried out more than 213,873 missions, flying for more than 1.12 million hours. They destroyed 4,950 enemy aircraft, 4,131 of which were on the ground, amounting to 48.9 percent of the total losses suffered by the enemy.
The Dixie Wing’s P-51 is the airplane that launched the CAF. It was acquired by the founding members of the CAF, including Lloyd P. Nolen. It never saw combat and was stationed at training bases in Florida. After several ownership changes, Nolen, then of “Mustang and Company,” bought the aircraft with three friends On Oct. 17, 1957 for $2,500. This signified the unofficial start of the CAF.
About the Commemorative Air Force:
The Commemorative Air Force is a non-profit organization dedicated to flying and restoring World War II aircraft. Based in Dallas, Texas, the organization has more than 13,000 members and operates a fleet of more than 166 aircraft. These aircraft compose the world’s largest flying museum, and are operated for the education of present and future generations.
About the CAF Dixie Wing Warbird Museum:
The CAF Dixie Wing, based in Peachtree City, Ga., was founded in 1987. The Wing, one of the largest units of the Commemorative Air Force, maintains and flies seven WWII aircraft including a P-51 Mustang, an FG-1D Corsair and rare types such as the SBD Dauntless dive bomber and P-63A Kingcobra. The Dixie Wing organizes two large events a year — WWII Heritage Days and the Atlanta Warbird Weekend. The unit, composed of 300 volunteers, is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization that relies on contributions of time and funds to carry out the mission of the CAF.