Mt. Vernon Register-News

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August 31, 2013

Mitchell B-25, Mustang featured at Expo

MT. VERNON — Another flying example of the type made famous by the Doolittle Raid over Japan in April 1942, will be making its first visit to Southern Illinois.

The aircraft will arrive at Mt. Vernon Airport about noon on Monday and will be on display through Monday, Sept. 9.

“Maid in the Shade,” a North American B-25J MItchell Medium Bomber, rolled off North American’s Kansas City assembly line in June 1944. She served in the 319th Bomb Group, 437th Squadron at Serragia Air Base. “Maid in the Shade” flew 15 combat missions over Italy from early November to late December in 1944. Railroad bridges were the aircraft’s main targets.

“Maid in the Shade” will be a showcase exhibit at the Plane & Pilot Midwest LSA Expo, scheduled from Sept. 5 through 7 at Mt. Vernon Airport. It will be joined by Dixie Wing Commemorative Air Force’s Red Nose P-51D. The public will be offered rides in the B-25. For more information you may call (480) 322-5503.

“They’ve kind of followed the Maid in the Shade at other stops this summer,” said Airport Manager Chris Collins of the P-51D. “They looked at what we were doing and thought it was a good thing to be involved in. The Mustang is the number one fighter from World War II. It will be nice to welcome it to the airport. When you talk to World War II vets, the sound of that Merlin engine is what won the war.”

Also on display will be the Women Wings, the St. Louis chapter of Women in Aviation, who will host their aircraft wash on Saturday, Sept. 7.

Additionally, the Bowers Fly-Baby Fly-In will occur simultaneously with the Expo. The fly-in is a simple and affordable ticket to the sky for interested homebuilders. Several Fly-Baby aircraft, as well as their owners and builders, will be at the event.

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