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Mon, Sep 18, 2023

B-25 Miss Mitchell Joins B-29 Doc for Wichita Event

Bombers and Ride-Flights and Plane Pulls—Oh, My!  

The North American B-25J medium-bomber dubbed Miss Mitchell will make a 04 through 08 October 2023 tour stop at Wichita, Kansas’s B-29 Doc Hangar, Education and Visitors Center. Miss Mitchell is lovingly maintained and operated by the Commemorative Air Force’s (CAF) Minnesota Wing.

Miss Mitchell completed over 130 combat missions during the Second World War, serving in the 310th Bomb Group, 57th Bomb Wing of the 12th Air Force in North Africa and Italy.

Miss Mitchell’s arrival and corresponding tour stop in Wichita will coincide with 07 October B-29 Doc WSU Tech Pull a Plane event. In addition to B-25 ride flight experiences offered during the Pull a Plane event, Miss Mitchell will be available for ride flights between 05 and 08 October. B-29 Doc Flight Experiences will be available 08 October.

B-29 Doc executive director Josh Wells stated: “The connection between the B-25 and the B-29 in our nation’s history is significant when it comes to World War II and the fight to defend freedom in the face of oppression. The stories of our nation’s heroes from the Greatest Generation come alive when these historic warbirds allow people to climb inside the aircraft and get a hands-on and up-close look at the machines that helped deliver victory for the Allied Forces during [WWII] the war.”

In addition to ride flight experiences, both bombers will take part in the Pull a Plane fundraiser to benefit B-29 Doc and the WSU Tech Foundation. While Doc will be the main aircraft pulled by teams during the event, children ages 7-17 will be able to sign up to pull Miss Mitchell.

CAF Minnesota Wing’s development officer Amy Lauria remarked: “We are excited to be a part of the event and to be partnering with the B-29 Doc again; there’s so much history to share. We look forward to helping to share the history of Miss Mitchell and her crew with people in Wichita.”

The B-29 Doc Flight Experience spans approximately ninety-minutes and includes a thirty-minute ride. Prior to takeoff, passengers receive crew briefings and learn about the history of the B-29 and the pivotal role the aircraft played in U.S. and world history.

Built in 1944 as part of a production run of 1620 aircraft constructed at Boeing’s Wichita, Kansas facility and allocated the military Serial Number 44-69972, the aircraft known today as Doc was delivered to the United States Army Air Force in March 1945. The plane did not see combat, however, and was converted, in 1951, to a radar-calibration aircraft and based at New York’s Griffiss Air Force Base.

Squadron members at Griffis engaged in the endearing if not peculiar practice of naming their B-29s after characters in Disney’s 1937 milestone film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. In keeping with the convention, 44-69972 was ascribed the sobriquet Doc—the bespectacled leader of Snow White’s gem-mining entourage.

In 1955, Doc, modified as a TB-29, was moved to Yuma County Airport in Arizona and pressed into service as a target-towing tug. One year later, the aircraft was retired from United States Air Force service and sent to south-central California’s Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake for use as a ballistic missile target.

Doc’s airframe was acquired by the United States Aviation Museum of Cleveland, Ohio, for restoration to flight status. After extensive restoration work at the Boeing plant in Wichita, Kansas—the selfsame facility in which Doc was assembled—the aircraft was moved in March 2007 to the Kansas Aviation Museum. In February 2013, the venerable bomber—that never dropped a bomb—was acquired by the Doc's Friends, Inc.

FMI: www.b29doc.com/rides

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