The hangar of the Warbirds of Glory Museum. ( Image credit Moose Peterson)

The hangar of the Warbirds of Glory Museum. ( Image credit Moose Peterson)

Moose Peterson reports.

It took flight February, 1945 and in June, 1969 it came to an end. The B-25J 44-30733 saw military life as a trainer and civilian life as a fire bomber. July of 2013, the B-25J took flight again underneath a sky crane that lifted it off the Tanana River sandbar where it has rested for the last forty-four years. Patrick Mihalek had a child age dream of working with warbirds and at age 30, now heads the Warbirds of Glory Museum that is taking the Sandbar Mitchell back to the skies.

One of the High School  students that Patrick has assembled to help him with the restoration.

One of the High School students that Patrick has assembled to help him with the restoration.

Patrick and Todd have been incredibly busy since getting the Sandbar Mitchell back to the museum shop in Brighton, MI. The wing and Bombay section lifted off that sandbar has been completely inspected and pieces are coming off in the restoration process. The amazing cool thing about the process is that Patrick has enlisted this incredible group of high school students who are a major part of the labor force. Under the mentoring of Patrick, they start with a broom and work their way up to rivets. These young men come over after school and with all that youth and enthusiasm are really making great strides in meeting the ten year goal to having the B-25 airworthy.

Patrick hasn’t stop a minute to breath after the recovery mission in Alaska. he has a plan and is going to execute it as fat as he can. In the last few weeks quite a lot of developments took place.The center section was moved into the restoration shop on December 7th from the museum’s storage hangar. The youth volunteers drilled out rivets and dissembled the remaining part of the forward fuselage while removing all usable parts.Both left wing main fuel stress panels were removed from the center section.Both left main tanks were removed., accordingly to Patrick after an initial inspection the interior of the wing  and spars are beautiful with no major visual issues. Todd and  Patrick  traveled to TX to pick up a core R-2600-29 engine still in its case which was donated to the project.The former owner was going to make a coffee table out of it, Patrick found out about it and offered the owner an R-755 as a trade. Now the former owner can make his coffee table and Patrick has another engine for his B-25!
This book is an illustrated history of the North American Aviation production plants at Inglewood and Kansas City and the assembly lines of the B-25 Mitchell. Click HERE to buy it.

This book is an illustrated history of the North American Aviation production plants at Inglewood and Kansas City and the assembly lines of the B-25 Mitchell. Click HERE to buy it.

For the months of December and January the team plans to remove the left nacelle, flap and landing gear castings and mounts, and auxiliary fuel bay panels.

It is really outstanding how this organization driven mostly with passion has made so much happen in such a short time. This includes their fundraiser efforts. They have got right now for pre-order the recently release book, B-25 Factory Times ( Click HERE). You can also purchase pieces of the Sandbar Mitchell to help raise more needed funds. Head to their website ( Click HERE) and keep checking in, these guys mean business and before you know it, they will be honoring with 340th with an flying B-25J!

One Comment

  1. Fabulous work guys. So proud of you and proud to know you.

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