EAA is bringing the World War II B-25 bomber Berlin Express to several cities this summer to offer flight experiences aboard the aircraft and it will also be displayed at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2021.
This aircraft is a powerful twin-engine and twin-tailed medium bomber used by the U.S. military starting in World War II. It is the only U.S. military aircraft to ever be named after a person, air power advocate General Billy Mitchell.
“The B-25 Mitchell has been an iconic aircraft used throughout history in many historical events such as the Doolittle Raid,” said Sean Elliott, EAA’s vice president of advocacy and safety. “Touring the B-25 allows this generation to better understand the sacrifices and bravery of the greatest generation that we owe so much to. Taking a flight on the B-25 today is an experience the participants will never forget and cannot duplicate by watching a movie or reading a book on WWII. This is a living history.”
The Doolittle Raid took place on April 18, 1942, where 16 Mitchell bombers on the U.S. aircraft carrier USS Hornet were steaming to within striking distance of Japan. When the time was right, the bombers would launch off the carrier and bomb Tokyo and other cities nearby. The task force was spotted prior to reaching the planned launching point, leading to an earlier launch of the B-25s and ultimately, after a successful raid on mainland Japan, several of the Doolittle Raiders crash-landed in China. The innovative feat was an outstanding success for the morale of the U.S. at that time.
For the past two decades, the EAA B-25 Mitchell Berlin Express has been on display in the Eagle Hangar of the EAA Aviation Museum until a four-and-a-half year restoration was completed in 2019.
The WWII veteran aircraft was also featured in the 1970s movie Catch-22.
The famed B-25 Mitchell honors veterans and inspires new generations of aviation enthusiasts to study history and find ways to get involved in aviation.
B-25 Mitchell Tour
The North American B-25 Mitchell is a medium bomber from the Second World War. This powerful twin engined and twin tailed aircraft was used by every branch of the United States military. It is the only US military aircraft to ever be named after an individual, air power advocate General Billy Mitchell.
In March of 1939 the United States Army Air Corps put out the call to aircraft companies for a medium bomber that was able to carry a bomb load of 2,400 pounds for 1,200 miles at a speed of 300 mph. North American delivered a prototype named the NA-62. The Army Air Corps was impressed with the aircraft’s performance and immediately ordered the aircraft, now designated B-25.
The first B-25’s became combat ready in early 1942, just in time for a very daring plan after a devastating Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The idea was to load 16 bombers onto the deck of the USS Hornet and sail as close as they could safely get to Japan. Then, when the time was right, launch off of the carrier and bomb Tokyo as well as military installations in the area. The mission would be led by famous aviator James H. Doolittle. On April 18th, 1942 the task force was spotted early, and even though the odds were against them, the 16 bombers roared down the deck toward history. The planes hit their targets and most ditched off of the coast of China after the raid. With one daring mission, Doolittle’s Raiders lifted the morale and spirits of everyone back in the United States.
This B-25 Mitchell aircraft has been on display in the Eagle Hangar of the EAA museum for decades. Now, fully restored in her silver screen markings, “Berlin Express” is ready for her next mission. One to honor our World War II veterans as well as inspire a new generation of aviation enthusiasts.
Ground tours will be available.
Cost: $360.00 – $400.00
Flights run at 10a, 11a, 12p and 1p are filled in sequential order based on availability.
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