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Built by North American during July 1945. Constructors number 108-47545. Assigned to the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-25J-30/32-NC Mitchell serial number 44-86791.
Between 1957 to 1959 this B-25 was stored at Davis Montham AFB. Register in USA as N8196H to Merrill & Richard Wien. Next flown by as as an Alaskan air tanker through the 1960s owned by a number of Alaskan companies including: Merric Inc, Frontier Flying Service, RJD Company, Aero Retardant.
In 1977 to Pacific Alaska Airlines and in 1979 to Donald Gilbertson. Painted as "Tite Pussy" in US Navy markings. In 1979 it appeared in the TV movie "Young Joe: The Forgotten Kennedy" and Aero Nostalgia at the Stockton, California.
Kevin Arditto adds:
"I suppose you could say I kind of discovered the aircraft in February 1982 when I was posted to the Boeing factory at Everett, WA, by my employer Ansett Airlines at the start of their B767 program. There was a civil aviation side to the field known as Paine Field, and there was some interesting stuff there we didn't see Down Under. Some weekends I would have a wander around, and one day a chap advised me there was a B-25 parked outside sort of out of clear sight, and directed me to it."
Sold to Aero Heritage Inc. and flown to Brisbane in December 1983.
Aero Heritage sold to the Australian War Memorial (AWM), but their board had the right to ground the aircraft. The aircraft was flown to Canberra, the outer wings removed, and stored out of public sight in a storage building.
This B-25J, last registered in Australia as VH-XXV and restored with tail code KO-P. The nose says: "prepared and maintained for the Australian War Memorial (AWM) by Winrye Aviation Bankstown." In 1996 it was sold to owners in New Zealand (?).
Classic Wings Issue 21:
The B-25 was offered for public tender.
Currently on display at Yanks Air Museum compound at Chino, CA since early 1999, assigned N6116X and registered to Charles Nichols on May 22, 2002.
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