ST. PAUL – (July 4, 2019) – The B-25 Mitchell is most well know for its role in the Doolittle raids on Japan. In the 1940s, there were thousands of them, but today, only a few dozen are airworthy. This one is the newest. It was restored at the airfield in Osh Kosh, Wisconsin by members of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA). Members of the Blaine Chapter put in more hours than any other group.
The EAA is dedicated to sharing the spirit of aviation with everyone, and one way to do that is by getting airplanes in front of people.
“EAA has a long history of operating warbirds and sharing their story with the public,” said Sean Elliot, vice president of safety and advocacy of EAA. “Touring these airplanes, and telling the historical aspects of what The Greatest Generation did is a big part of the organization.”
July 5-7, the EAA will have the B-25 on display, and they will also have their B-17 on display. People will be able to tour the planes, and even buy tickets to take a flight on the B-17. On July 4, they provided free rides to veterans of World War II.
“As a crew member, that’s probably the most phenomenal thing any of us get to experience,” said Elliot.
One of the veterans joining this year’s flight is Ken Schutt. He served in the army Air Transport Command as an aerial navigator. He spend most of his time in the B-29, but flew in the B-17 as well.
“I’ve almost forgotten what it was like,” said Schutt. “It’s a thrill. I haven’t flown for years, commercially or otherwise.”
But he knows, just being on that plane will bring back memories from 75 years ago.
“My memories, I think will be …… this is emotional……will be a memory of the heroes who didn’t come home,” said Schutt.
Ken boarded the B-17, and got to spend about 20 minutes in the air. On the flight, he shared stories of his service, and was able to remember some of the good times as well. And that, is what the EAA says, this is about.
“It’s living history,” said Elliot. “We’re uncovering something new that hasn’t been learn or experienced since 75-80 years ago.”
The airplanes will be on display on the St. Paul airport July 5 – 7 and then later this month they will be in Wisconsin. Admission to the airport is free, but tickets are required to tour the inside of the airplanes and to take a flight.