Saturday, April 29, 2017

Three Historic WWII Airplanes to Visit Greenville

As first seen here on local family site, Kidding Around Greenville...

Any history buffs or airplane enthusiasts in your bunch? In one week three historic WWII planes will be landing at the downtown Greenville airport as part of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Fighters & Bombers tour. The B-25 “Miss Mitchell,” a P-51 “Red Nose” and an SBD-5 Dauntless dive bomber will be on display from May 5th through the 7th as part of a five-stop tour to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Doolittle Raid over Japan. Many aircraft were scrapped for aluminum after the war, and so it is uncommon to find restored WWII planes that are still flight-worthy 70 years later; this is your chance to see not one, but three notorious aircraft up close!

The planes!

The North American B-25 Mitchell is an American twin-engine, medium bomber named in honor of aviation pioneer Major General William "Billy" Mitchell. The B-25B was the bomber used in the Doolittle Raid four months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and although the damage inflicted during the raid was relatively minor, the mission forced the Japanese to divert troops for home defense for the remainder of the war.

The North American Aviation (NAA) P-51 Mustang is an American long-range, single-seat fighter and fighter-bomber used during World War II and the Korean War. During WWII the US P-51s carried out more than 213,873 missions, destroying 4,950 enemy aircraft – almost 50% of the total losses suffered by the enemy.

The SBD was developed before WWII, and although it was considered obsolete when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, it was the 1st American combat aircraft to shoot down a Japanese Zero fighter, and is considered to have helped turn the tide of WWII at the Battle of Midway on June 4, 1942.

Tour info!

The hours of this event are as follows: Friday May 5th 12:00pm – 5:00pm, Saturday May 6th 9:00am- 5:00pm and Sunday May 7th 9:00am- 5:00pm. While there is no charge to view the aircraft, rides are only available by purchase. For pricing and more information, please visit the CAF Fighters & Bombers Tour website.

Parking will be available near the Runway Cafe ramp of the Greenville Downtown Airport (GMU), located on Airport Road Extension in Greenville. Plan on spending some time at the aviation-themed playground during your visit, and if you get hungry, the Runway Café has a kids menu… Check out my posts Aviation Park at GMU and Watching the planes posts for more on that!

The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) is a non-profit organization, established with the purpose of restoring and flying WWII aircraft. The organization is based in Dallas, TX, and operates a fleet of more than 166 aircraft, the world’s largest flying museum. To learn more about CAF’s mission to educate the present and future generations visit their website. GMU has also been host to WWII planes during the Colling Foundation Wings of Freedom tour; for more on that please see my post WWII Bombers in Greenville

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