Toured a B-25 Today................Update!

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Bob Wright

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Jun 24, 2004
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A WW II vintage B-25J was parked at the airport in Millington, Tennessee, and we drove out for the tour. At least I went for the tour. Nita not too enthusiastic about cramped spaces.









The B-25 was my late sister's favorite plane. She had the distinction of "flying" one briefly during her service career. She was an instructor at Brooks Field, Texas, doing the instrument flying training in the old Link trainers. They had B-25's, not TB-25s, at Brooks for advanced students.

The radio operator/waist gunner position was pretty cramped. And the inside of the aluminum skin was the outside of the plane. I can't imagine being there with bullets whizzing through that thin skin!

Bob Wright

My niece called me last night. (Saturday) She is the person who told me about the plane being here. She said, "I know it was expensive, but it was a once in a lifetime event. I went back today and took a flight in that B-25." She described flying over the Mississippi River, cottonfields beginning to make, and soybean fields starting to defoliate. Also was allowed to crawl up into the glazed nose section and ride there as well.

B.W.
 

Selena

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A long way from heaven and far too close to Chicag
One of my favorite TOB's was a gunner in a B-25 with the Army Air Corps. He told the story of a tail gunner that would sneak sheet metal on the plane until there was enough weight to effect the performance of the aircraft. The guy was transferred after being diagnosed with "combat fatigue." It's amazing what those guys went through yet still maintained an effective fighting force.
 

CGDustDevil

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Feb 13, 2016
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Arizona
Quite a bird, and great photos! Seems odd to see the modern electronics in the panel... Flying in something like that with people shootin' at ya takes some moxie that they don't make much of these days. Submarines and bombers are both fascinating to me, and disturbing at the same time.
 

pete44ru

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Dec 6, 2004
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Rhode Island
.

When I was based in NC (mid-60's), a decommissioned B-25 was parked off the tarmac, near the runway as a display - which everybody & their brother went into at least once.

(there was even some consensual fraternizing inside the display model, evenings ;) )

It was exciting, however, when an active service B-25 (some were returned to service during Vietnam) landed there for some maintenance - quite different from the de-com/display.

The active B-25 was quite a growler during take-off - it even sounded dangerous.


.
 

Snake45

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pete44ru said:
It was exciting, however, when an active service B-25 (some were returned to service during Vietnam) landed there for some maintenance - quite different from the de-com/display.

.
Do you have any photos or details about this? First I've ever heard of B-25s in any sort of active (or even reserve or ancillary) service in the Vietnam era.

There were still quite a few of them flying in civilian hands at this time, often in some sort of utility role.

Now, there were quite a few Douglas B-26 Invaders of a couple different variants used by USAF in the Vietnam era. Could that be what you're thinking of? :?
 

Armybrat

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Round Rock, Texas
When my brother was in the Air National Guard in the 1950s & 1960s, they were using the old B-25s. He caught a ride now & then, usually during summer camp.
 
Joined
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Richmond Texas USA
pete44ru said:
.

When I was based in NC (mid-60's), a decommissioned B-25 was parked off the tarmac, near the runway as a display - which everybody & their brother went into at least once.

(there was even some consensual fraternizing inside the display model, evenings ;) )

It was exciting, however, when an active service B-25 (some were returned to service during Vietnam) landed there for some maintenance - quite different from the de-com/display.

The active B-25 was quite a growler during take-off - it even sounded dangerous.


.

TB-25J-25-NC Mitchell, 44-30854, the last B-25 in the USAF inventory, assigned at March AFB, California as of March 1960, was flown to Eglin AFB, Florida, from Turner Air Force Base, Georgia, on 21 May 1960, the last flight by a USAF B-25, and presented by Brigadier General A. J. Russell, Commander of SAC's 822d Air Division at Turner AFB, to the Air Proving Ground Center Commander, Brigadier General Robert H. Warren, who in turn presented the bomber to Valparaiso, Florida Mayor Randall Roberts on behalf of the Niceville-Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce. Four of the original Tokyo Raiders were present for the ceremony, Colonel (later Major General) David Jones, Colonel Jack Simms, Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Manske, and retired Master Sergeant Edwin W. Horton. It was donated back to the Air Force Armament Museum c. 1974 and marked as Doolittle's 40-2344.[23]
 

Critch

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Aug 30, 2000
Messages
329
Location
Poplar Bluff, MO, USA
My mom and dad met in the B-25 plant (Fischer Body) at Memphis in WWII. I don't think they made complete planes, but sub-assemblies such as landing gear and bomb bay doors etc..which were then shipped to KCMO for final assembly.
 

32magfan

Blackhawk
Joined
Jan 8, 2005
Messages
597
Location
Burkesville, KY
I got to be up close to a B-25j in around 2001 in San Marcos, TX. I took some pictures and bought a paperback book in the gift shop of the hanger where the planes were on display and being worked on.

When I returned home to KY, I showed the photos and book to my grandfather who served in WWII as a crew chief on B-25’s in Tunisia. He talked about all the differences between the models, commented about the different groups that were in the pictures, etc. We look at the stuff and talked about it for three hours. My uncles swore it was the most he had spoken about his time in the service. I wish I had videotaped the session as memories fade and he passed in 2009.

They were neat planes and a bunch were adapted with multiple.50 caliber BMG’s firing forward and even 75mm cannons to be used for ground attack/support.

Good photos Bob and thanks for posting.

32Magfan
 

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