Friday, September 6, 2013

The Friday Flyby - 06 September

B-25 Mitchell
I had thought of making this post about twin-engine World War II bombers in general. But there were so many. So maybe I would just do the American ones this week, then German, etc., etc. But that lead in photo caught my eye. Sorry all you other twin-engine birds, you'll have to wait. The B-25 is just too sweet and just too famous. (Also Tuna accused me of being "fighter-ish", so I had to show that I can drool over non-fighters as well. Ah ha!)

Of course, the B-25 first caught the attention of America because of this guy -

General James Harold "Jimmy" Doolittle

Leader of the Doolittle Raid, the first American offensive action of WWII. General Doolittle deserves a Friday Flyby all to himself, he was an amazing aviator from the early days of flight up to and past WWII. A brilliant pilot.

General/Doctor James Harold "Jimmy" Doolittle, USAF (December 14, 1896 – September 27, 1993) was an American aviation pioneer. Doolittle served as an officer in the United States Army Air Forces during the Second World War. He earned the Medal of Honor for his valor and leadership as commander of the Doolittle Raid while a lieutenant colonel.
B-25s of the Doolittle Raid Onboard USS Hornet

Next Stop, Tokyo

Doolittle Raid Reenactment Onboard USS Ranger - 1992

The B-25 was named after another Air Force legend, General Billy Mitchell.

William "Billy" Mitchell (29 December 1879 – 19 February 1936) was a United States Army general who is regarded as the father of the U.S. Air Force.

Mitchell served in France during World War I and, by the conflict's end, commanded all American air combat units in that country. After the war, he was appointed deputy director of the Air Service and began advocating increased investment in air power, believing that this would prove vital in future wars. He argued particularly for the ability of bombers to sink battleships and organized a series of bombing runs against stationary ships designed to test the idea.

He antagonized many people in the Army with his arguments and criticism and, in 1925, was returned from appointment as a brigadier general to his permanent rank of Colonel. Later that year, he was court-martialed for insubordination after accusing Army and Navy leaders of an "almost treasonable administration of the national defense" for investing in battleships instead of aircraft carriers. He resigned from the service shortly afterward. 
Mitchell received many honors following his death, including a commission by President Franklin Roosevelt as a Major General. He is also the only individual after whom a type of American military aircraft, the North American B-25 Mitchell, is named.

Sleek and Deadly

Why yes,  those are eight .50 caliber machine guns.
Why do you ask?

That's Gonna Leave a Mark!

Yup, Pungo has one!

So does History Flight
(You can get a ride in this one. Pricey, but worth it!)

That clip above is History Flight's B-25 "Barbie III". (These folks provided me with that 30 minute "OMG I can't believe I'm getting to do this" ride in the SNJ-6, a tale I told here. Yes, I'm a big fan of History Flight!)

So while I do post a lot about fighter aircraft, (Well, I used to maintain them, my daughter and son-in-law fly them...) but I can appreciate and love other aircraft types as well. Though I'm kind of a fighter guy, I'm really an airplane guy.

Really, it's all about the flying and the joy that is in it!

Off we go into the wild blue yonder...


  1. I entertained a flight in a B-25 in the wayback, which, if memory serves, cost about $250.00 but The Second Mrs. Pennington vetoed the expenditure. There won't be a veto if I get another chance.

    Good job, Chris.

    1. If you check out the History Flight link in this post, or in the sidebar, go to Flight Packages, you'll see that the price has gone up quite a bit. 30 minute ride will run you close to $600. Pricey, yes. Would I do it. Yes, I would.

      Thanks Buck!

  2. The Mitchell has always had a certain effect on me, and I suppose indirectly influenced my life.
    The Stoof always kinda reminds me of the Mitchell, though it doesn't have a split tail and isn't as long.
    They each make about the same amount of noise.

    1. You stumped me with that one Skip. Thank God for Google.

      Stoof = Grumman S-2F "Tracker".

      This also led me to a new awesome website with oodles of Navy slang. (

      Thanks for learnin' me somethin' new!

  3. I'm in the gaggle on the flightdeck onboard the USS Ranger for the reenactment in '92. What a day it was. The night before there was cocktail party at the NAS North Island O Club. Several of the Raiders were in attendance. Indeed an honor to meet these true American heroes.

    1. That is awesome.

      I thought that looked like you! ;-)

  4. Most excellent aircraft indeed. Almost as cool as the Douglas A-26.

    1. Almost? Hhmm, methinks the A-26 will have to be examined. And soon.

  5. Thanks for that. I laughed out loud.


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