The Mitchell B-25 and the Panchito

This film contains archival footage and video taken by the Remember ME! Media crew at the Great State of Maine Air Show, 2011 in Brunswick Maine. The Panchito is a faithfully restored B-25 medium bomber used in conjunction with the DAV’s outreach program to spread the services available to our veterans in the US.

The purpose of this short film is to tell the story of this fabulous little bomber and the impact that it had on all theaters of the WWII conflict. Primarily utilized in the Pacific Theater, the B-25’s most famous moment was when Lt. Colonel “Jimmy” Doolittle used 16 of these airplanes in a daring sea launched raid over Japan.

Launched 600 miles from Japan from the aircraft carrier the USS Hornet after having been prematurely discovered by the Japanese, these airmen volunteered without exception to carry on with the mission, even though they knew there would be insufficient fuel to carry them to safe bases in China where they could be safely recovered.

All but one plane crashed, and the one surviving plane was confiscated when the pilot landed in Russia.

The plane used in the clips from the movie Aerial Gunner was not actually a B-25, although I had been assured it was. It is actually what was designated a B-34, or more properly a Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon/Ventura. My guess would be that there were no B-25’s available for filming, and this is the closest variant the film company could come up with.

However, the set props were B-25 components for the most part. Remember that Hollywood is Hollywood, and artistic license trumps detail nearly every time.

It was still a great little movie and worth seeing sometime, and can be downloaded in full from the Prelinger Archives, along with miles of other vintage footage.

Enjoy the video!

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Categories: antiques, events, historic preservation, history, Maine things to do, museum news, preservation, Uncategorized, WWII | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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