Show Me! B-25 World War II bomber prepares for next mission

7:54 AM, Apr 13, 2011   |    comments
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By Kasey Joyce

St. Louis (KSDK) -- Members of the Commemorative Air Force are in the final stages of preparing a 70-year-old warplane for its next mission. And the mission has a tie to a former St. Louis aviation legend.

The Show Me! B-25 is a World War II bomber and on Thursday it is headed to Omaha, Nebraska for one of the very final reunions of the members of the Doolittle Tokyo Raid.

Jimmy Doolittle was an aviation legend who lived here in St. Louis early in his career. He led a group of 80 men on a bombing mission during World War II. It was the first counter-attack on Japan after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Historians say it changed the course in the war in the Pacific.

A group of volunteer members of the Commemorative Air Force have spent countless hours restoring the plane and getting it ready to fly.

On Thursday, it will pay tribute to the war heroes that flew planes just like it during the Second World War.

"I feel very fortunate to be put in a position by the Commemorative Air Force to be able to use the airplane as a tool to tell the story of American history," said pilot Greg Vallero.

And when the plane returns from its mission, you can actually have a chance to go up for a ride. Starting this spring the Commemorative Air Force will be offering public rides from Smartt field in Portage Des Souix. You can even join the Commemorative Air Force and train to be part of the crew that goes up in the plane. For more information, visit the CAF's website.



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