Named after General Billy Mitchell, the Army Air Corps' most famous figure of the 1920s and 1930s, the North American B-25 proved to be one of the best American weapons of World War II. First flown on August 19,1940, the B-25 was a rugged, adaptable and accurate medium bomber. Famed for its role in the Doolittle Raid on Japan, the B-25 served around the world and flew with several air forces. North American produced the Mitchell in many different models, nearly 10,000 B-25s in all.
The Mitchell proved to be highly flexible and was fitted with a wide variety of armaments. Some versions of the B-25 were armed with no less than fourteen forward firing .50 cal. machine guns; while the B-25H boasted a 75mm cannon mounted in the nose. Besides being used as a horizontal bomber, the B-25 was used as a low-level attack and anti-shipping aircraft. Since the end of World War II, B-25s have been used as private transports and are common participants at air shows. Today, "How `Boot That!'?", the crown jewel of the Cavanaugh Flight Museum's collection, is the most original, flying B-25 anywhere in the world. Constructed in Kansas City, Kansas, the Army Air Force accepted this B-25 in August 1944. Assigned to the 380th Bomb Squadron, 310th Bomb Group, 57th Bomb Wing, the aircraft arrived in Italy shortly after its completion. From the fall of 1944 through late spring 1945, this aircraft completed more than eighty combat missions over northern Italy, southern Austria and what was Yugoslavia. The majority of these missions targeted rail bridges in the Brenner Pass, a 100-mile corridor through the Italian Alps which sheltered the main railway line from Germany to Italy.
Following World War II, this aircraft (unlike most B-25s) returned to the U.S. and continued to serve with the Air Force as a TB-25N multi-engine trainer. The Air Force dropped the plane from its inventory in 1958, after more than a decade of use as a trainer. In 1968 the aircraft appeared in the famous film "Catch 22". The aircraft moved in the early 1970s to the East Coast and found a home on a platform in a military cemetery near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After many years on the plat
form, the plane was purchased by Harry Doan, who added it to his large warbird collection in Florida. The Cavanaugh Flight Museum acquired the B-25 in 1992 and shipped it to Chino, California for restoration.
The restoration of "How `Boot That!?" is complete in every detail and all of the plane's systems are fully operational. Jack Kowalik, the same artist, who first created the plane's distinctive nose art in December 1944, faithfully reproduced it as part of the restoration effort. "How `Boot That!?" won the title of Grand Champion Warbird at the 1995 E.A.A. Oshkosh Fly-In and the 1996 E.A.A. Sun `n Fun Fly-In and is a testament to the hard work of the plane's restoration team.
|ENGINE||Two Wright R-2600-92 Cyclones 1,700|
|ARMAMENT||Up to 18 .50 cal machine guns and 4,000 lbs. of bombs|
|WING SPAN||67 feet, 7 inches|
|LENGTH||52 feet, 11 inches|
|HEIGHT||16 feet, 4 inches|
|MAX TAKEOFF WEIGHT||35,000 pounds|
|MANUFACTURED BY||North American Aviation|
|TOTAL BUILT||Nearly 10,000|
|MUSEUM'S AIRCRAFT BUILT||1944|
|ON DISPLAY AT||Cavanaugh Flight Museum, Addison Airport (KADS), Dallas, Texas|
|MAXIMUM SPEED||272 m.p.h.|
|SERVICE CEILING||24,200 feet|