The B-25 Mitchell on display at Wiley Post Airport this week is as much flying museum as airplane.
Sixteen planes similar to it carried the Doolittle Raiders to Japan in 1942. For those who fly and maintain the bomber, it's a labor of love that pays off when they see children learn or veterans reconnecting with their World War II memories.
“We've had veterans come by that put their hands on the airplane and start crying just because of the memories of that,” said John Roberts, a crew member for the bomber. “On the bomb bay, we have signatures of veterans, including some who were on the Doolittle raid that have come out to see it.”
The plane, named “Maid in the Shade,” will be on display at Wiley Post Airport through Sunday. Tours of the plane are free. Flights can be purchased for $395 in the waist gunner's seat or $650 on the flight deck.
The money goes toward keeping the bomber flight worthy. It's part of the Commemorative Air Force, a national group with wings across the United States that tour the country with historic aircraft.
Roberts, of Tuttle, works with an Arizona wing that flies the B-25 and a B-17 Flying Fortress. He said he often travels across the country to work on the planes, and is glad to see the B-25 stop in Oklahoma.