Images & Observations

Mitch The Witch II

Nikon D7000 10-24mm @ 10mm ISO 1250 3-bkts f/18 Lr3, HEP1, TpzAdj; PsCS5

Mitch the Witch II’s current home is the Palm Springs Air Museum, where it is a part of the collection that is still flown.  The B-25 manufactured by North American Aviation was a medium bomber developed in 1940 and deployed in 1941; 9,984 B-25’s were eventually built.  The B-25 first gained fame as the bomber used in the 18 April 1942 Doolittle Raid, in which 16 B-25Bs led by the legendary Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle attacked mainland Japan, four months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  On Saturday, 28 July 1945, at 0940 (while flying in thick fog), a USAAF B-25D crashed into the north side of the Empire State Building, hitting between the 79th and 80th floor. 14 people were killed — 11 in the building, along with Colonel William Smith and the other two occupants of the bomber.[9] Betty Lou Oliver, an elevator attendant, survived the impact and a subsequent uncontrolled descent with the elevator. It was partly because of this incident that Towers 1 and 2 of the World Trade Center were designed to withstand the impact of a Boeing 707 aircraft (though the planes that hit the towers on September 11, 2001 had significantly higher masses and were traveling at substantially higher speeds).  (Source: Wikipedia.)

North American B-25J Mitchell, N8163H Mitch the Witch II was delivered to the Army Air Corps as 44-86747. It is restored as B-25C 42-87293. Its construction number is 108-47501. After the war, it was converted to a TB-25N trainer. The Air Force retired it in 1958 and stored it at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Alton C. Mosley of Fairbanks, Alaska gave it its current registration on May 4, 1959. In July 1959 it was converted to a fire fighting tanker with a 2,000-gallon retardent tank. Merric Inc of Anchorage, Alaska bought it in April 1961 and sold it to RJD Corporation of Fairbanks in February 1965. Aero Retardant of Fairbanks bought it in April 1967 and operated it as tanker #7. Noel M. Wien of Anchorage, Alaska bought it in February 1977 ands sold it to the Planes of Fame Air Museum of Chino, California in 1978. Robert Pond and Planes Of Fame East of Spring Park, Minnesota bought it in March 1986. It has been part of the collection of the Palm Springs Air Museum since 1997. It flew as the Ruptured Duck in the movie Pearl Harbor.  (Source: Air & Space.)

 

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8 responses

  1. That’s a beauty> Nice job.

    August 19, 2011 at 10:24 AM

    • Thanks, Mark. It took me a while to figure out what post processing I wanted to do.

      August 19, 2011 at 1:08 PM

  2. very nice!

    August 21, 2011 at 4:39 PM

  3. Really beautiful Wayne, nicely done.

    August 22, 2011 at 5:39 PM

  4. Thanks Sheila and Charles, I had a lot of fun with this one.

    August 22, 2011 at 9:02 PM

  5. Pingback: B-25 Mitchell « Wayne Frost's Photo Blog

  6. Oliver Milam

    My father-in-law was a crew member of “Mitch the Witch” during WWII. He died in 2005. I have a photo he took of the plane and crew while based in the Philippines during WWII. As you probably know, the original nose-art witch was a little different. Seeing the above airplane at the Palm Springs Air Museum sparked my interest in trying to discover the names of the other crew members and to locate them, if any are still alive. If anyone has any info on this, please email me at: oliver2@milam.com

    August 15, 2012 at 2:29 PM

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