Flying Legends of Victory Tour B-25 Bomber “Maid in the Shade”

B-25 Bomber "Maid in the Shade"

B-25 Bomber "Maid in the Shade"

One of the most iconic airplanes from World War II, B-25 Mitchell “Maid in the Shade” is at Millington/Memphis, TN September 10 – 16, 2018 as part of its Summer Flying Legends of Victory Tour across the U.S. and Canada.

Built in 1944, the B-25 “Maid in the Shade” was developed by North American Aviation and used mainly as a low altitude strafe and skip bomber. Nearly 10,000 B-25s were produced and the B-25 Mitchell “Maid in the Shade” is one of 34 still flying today. “Maid in the Shade” has flown 15 combat missions from November 1 through December 31, 1944 including 13 over Italy and two over Yugoslavia.

The public will have the opportunity to climb aboard the B-25 Bomber to soak in the breathtaking stories of courage and service by Americans during one of the most important periods in U.S. history.

The B-25 is an exceptionally rare aircraft, as it’s only one of 34 in the world that is still flying.

Most remembered for the Doolittle Raid on Japan where Jimmy Doolittle led 16 B-25s across Japan bombing targets. B-25’s were also used in America’s first large-scale bombing offensive in the Philippines and sunk eight ships and shot down five planes.

The Millington/Memphis, TN Flying Legends of Victor Tour B-25 Bomber stop is as follows:

  • Tours: Monday, Friday – Sunday: 2 pm – 6 pm
    • Tuesday – Thursday: 9 am – 6 pm
  • Rides: Friday – Sunday: 10 am – 1 pm
  • Tours cost $10 USD per person and $20 USD for a family of four
    • Seats are $325 USD per waist gunner compartment seat
    • $650 USD for flight deck jump seat and limited to seven per flight
    • Ride reservations are required click here to reserve your seat

Nashville Tech News was granted exclusive access and test flight aboard “Made in the Shade” along side two WWII combat veteran pilots of B-25’s and B-24’s in the Pacific Theater.

B-25 Bomber Maid in the Shade

A bit past 10:00 am with a light 10 mph wind at a cool 65 degrees we spotted “Maid in the Shade” B-25 Mitchell off in the distance. The roar of her twin Wright Cyclone R-2600 engines, each producing 1,700 horsepower for a max speed of 272 mph became louder and loader as she set up for a quick touch and go before circling back for a final approach landing.

Once on the tarmac you could feel her power plants rumbling through your feet.

She requires a crew of five to operate and fly her, with a wingspan of sixty seven and half feet and almost fifty three feet nose to tail.

B-25 Bomber Maid in the Shade

Our crew Pilot Russ Gilmore – Co-pilot Karl Randolph – Crew Chief Ken Martin – Loadmaster Gary Oglesby – Ground crew Gene Adkins and John Shenton.

B-25 Bomber Maid in the Shade

Her ceiling capacity is just over twenty four thousand feet with a load weight of thirty four thousand pounds. Fourteen thousand of those pounds are reserved for bombs.

The show was stolen when we met the two legendary WWII combat veteran pilots of B-25’s and B-24’s in the Pacific Theater who were on board with us for our test flight.

1st Lt John Boyd Maize Jr. – U.S. Army Air Corps (Air Force) – Joint Navy/Air Corps Air/Sea Rescue B-25 (left)

Caption Marion O. Brown 30th Bomb Group (H) 819th Squadron B-24 (right)

B-25 Bomber Maid in the Shade

The bombs painted on the aircraft above represent enemy targets hit.

The picture below is 1st Lt John Boyd Maize Jr. (second from right) in front of “Mitch the Witch” another B-25 within his squadron. A bit grainy but notice the bombs painted on “Mitch the Witch.”

B-25 Bomber Maid in the Shade

Once we all climbed aboard through the tail ladder both veterans Brown and Maize Jr. seemed almost a bit bored an under whelmed.

B-25 Bomber Maid in the Shade

We soon found out that both veterans felt a bit bored because they were not going to be able to open up on the 50 caliber machine guns and do a couple strafing runs.

B-25 Bomber Maid in the Shade

In modern aviation you don’t see many big aircraft like “Maid in the Shade” still using cables, wires and pulleys to control the flaps, rudders and ailerons. We had to be careful not to grab a hold of any on this flight.

During our flight we were able to crawl from the bomb bay area to the tail gunner position and the view was spectacular.

One more fly by before we come into land.

Back on the ground you realize how far modern aviation has come from the days of “Maid in the Shade.” Fly by wire and electronics are now packed into aircraft today taking away from the touch and feel of flying that once was.

The tour, made possible by the volunteers of the non-profit 501(c)3 Arizona Commemorative Air Force Museum, which features B-25 Bomber “Maid in the Shade.”

The museum also has two more fully functional WWII combat aircraft a C-47/DC-3 Combat Legend “Old Number 30”  and a B-17 Bomber “Sentimental Journey.”

These warbirds and their crews will follow separate tour routes across the U.S. and Canada and visit approximately 50 cities from May through October 2018 to fulfill their mission of educating all generations about the role of aviation in combat.

Arizona Commemorative Air Force Museum (AZCAF) – Mesa, Arizona was founded in 1977 and is the 10th chapter of the Commemorative Air Force. It’s comprised of 500 member volunteers and seven flyable warbirds that offer Living History rides. The fully-restored and rare B-17 and B-25 Bombers and C-47/DC-3 Combat Legend conduct the Flying Legends of Victory Summer tour and visit approximately 50 cities throughout the United States and Canada.

The AZCAF has 55,000 square feet of historical airplanes, relics, and educational exhibits, in addition to a working mechanics hangar. A top-rated adventure attractions in Phoenix and regularly conducts tours for schools, businesses, and youth groups.

The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) located in Dallas, Texas honors the men and women who built, maintained, and flew in airplanes during wartime. The organization believes that is best accomplished by maintaining these warbirds in flying condition and taking them to people to experience the sights and sounds of these treasured beauties in flight.

Collecting, restoring, and flying vintage historical aircraft for more than half a century, the Commemorative Air Force ranks as one of the largest private air forces in the world. The CAF is dedicated to honoring American military aviation through flight, exhibition, and remembrance. A non-profit educational organization, the CAF has more than 13,000 members and a fleet of 165 airplanes distributed throughout the country to 76 CAF units for care and operation. There are also four international affiliates in France, Switzerland, New Zealand, and Australia. For more information, visit www.commemorativeairforce.org.

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For more information contact: Corey Paul – communications@azcaf.org – 480-568-6778