"Maid in the Shade"

August 24, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

north american b-25j mitchellnorth american b-25j mitchellMaid in the Shade The North American B-25J Mitchell "Maid in the Shade" is owned and operated by the Commemorative Air Force's Airbase Arizona, located at Falcon Field in Mesa, Arizona.

 

"Maid in the Shade" is an actual World War II veteran with 15 combat missions flown in Europe.  In 2009, Airbase Arizona completed their 28-year restoration of "Maid in the Shade," and she proudly returned to the air.  Here's some information provided by Airbase Arizona:

The B-25J, built in early 1944 and named in honor of General Billy Mitchell who is recognized as the father of strategic bombing, was used mainly as a low altitude strafe and skip bomber, and was used in America’s first large-scale bombing offensive in the Philippines. The B-25 is most remembered for the Doolittle Raid on Japan where Jimmy Doolittle led 16 B-25s across Japan bombing targets.

The Arizona Commemorative Air Force Museum’s B-25J Bomber “Maid in the Shade” was a 28-year restoration project that began in 1982 when she was donated to the museum. Upon arrival, the B-17 Bomber “Sentimental Journey” was being restored, therefore, volunteers slowly began to dismantle the B-25 bomber and gradually moved the shell and parts into the new hangar that was built in late 1987.

Unlike the B-17G that was restored outside in the hot Arizona sun, the B-25 began its restoration in the shade hence how she got her name. The B-25 Bomber “Maid in the Shade” is one of 34 B-25Js still flying out of the nearly 10,000 that were produced.

Today, the B-25J “Maid in the Shade” tours the U.S. and into Canada during the summer months. In the fall and winter months, she can be found at the museum available for tours as well as Living History rides.


Combat History:
Based out of Serraggia Airbase, Corsica from Nov 1 – Dec 31, 1944. Assigned to:
57th Bomb Wing
319th Bomb Wing
437th Bomb Squadron

Combat Missions Flown:
13 over Italy
2 over Yugoslavia

 

north american b-25j mitchellnorth american b-25j mitchellMaid in the Shade MAID in the SHADEMAID in the SHADENorth American B-25J Mitchell

 

Back in 2009, as Airbase Arizona's main photographer at the time, I was given the opportunity to take her first official air-to-air photos.  This was an amazing opportunity, and I wasn't about to pass it up.  I flew in the back seat of Airbase Arizona's SNJ/T-6 Texan, and it is a great platform for photography.  It was incredible to be up flying with and photographing such a beautiful piece of history.


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