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The following Texas Flying Legends planes and crew will be launching the mission from Ellington Field in support of the international fight for freedom and democracy.
* The B-25J Mitchell Bomber “Betty’s Dream,” a plane made famous by the Doolittle Raiders attack on mainland Japan four months after the Japanese attacked the U.S. at Pearl Harbor (Crew includes Pilot Alan Miller, a flight instructor and Delta Airlines Captain from Hawaii; Co-Pilot Casey Odegaard, an aircraft restoration professional and airshow pilot from Kindred, ND; and Flight Mechanic Toby McPherson of Page, ND)
* The TBM Avenger 3E torpedo bomber, once flown by Houston native and former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, the youngest ever Naval Aviator at 19 years of age (Piloted by commercial pilot and airplane restoration enthusiast United States Congressman Sam Graves of Tarkio, MO)
* The FG-1D Corsair “Whistling Death,” the wartime nickname for this fast and powerful carrier-based fighter that greatly reduced enemy airpower during World War II (Piloted by Certified Flight Instructor and Pilot Examiner, commercial and aerobatic pilot Doug Rozendaal of Mason City, IA)
* The P-40K Warhawk “Aleutian Tiger,” a model once flown by David Lee “Tex” Hill, a proud Texan and top WWII Flying Ace, who was a member of the 1st American Volunteer Group “Flying Tigers” and trained under fellow Texan, General Claire Chennault (Piloted by TFLM Director of Maintenance and aircraft restoration professional Bernie Vasquez of Vacaville, CA)
* The A6-M2 Model 21 Japanese Zero “Last Samurai,” one of only a few Japanese Zeros left flying in the world that was the symbol of Japanese airpower in World War II (Piloted by Warren Pietsch, TFLM Vice President of Operations and Chief Pilot, who is an accomplished aerobatics pilot and aircraft restoration professional from Minot, ND)
The Lewis Air Legends planes that will be joining Texas Flying Legends Museum planes along the way are:
* The B-25J Mitchell Bomber “Russian To Get Ya,” the last production model of the bomber and conventionally equipped with a transparent nose. It is surprising, but historically accurate, that this iconic American bomber in the Lewis Air Legends collection sports Soviet nose art and insignia. Nearly 900 B-25s were sent to the Russians in WWII under the Lend/Lease program, as were many others to allies in Europe, Asia and South America (Piloted by Jim Dale, a pilot with more than 6000 hours and Lewis Air Legends Director of Warbird Maintenance).
* The P-38F Lightning “Glacier Girl,” the only rescued survivor of an entire squadron of P-38s and B-17s attempting a crossing over Greenland in 1942, she was finally pulled piece by piece from under 268 feet of ice on the 13th effort to retrieve her. Glacier Girl owns the only complete set of working P-38 machine guns in existence and is considered by many to be the finest Warbird restoration flying. (Piloted by Rod Lewis, a businessman and avid pilot, who is qualified in both jet and prop driven aircraft and personally flies all of his planes, including the vintage WWII Warbird collection known today as the Lewis Air Legends).
* The F7F-3P Tigercat “Here Kitty, Kitty!,” fast and heavily armed, the F7 outraced the single-engine F6F Hellcat by more than 70 mph. “Here Kitty, Kitty!” is configured as a photo-recon aircraft, one of five flyable models in the world, and the first ever to race at the National Championship Air Races in Reno. (Piloted by Steve Dawson, an FAA Experimental Aircraft Examiner, a FAA Designated Pilot Examiner, and a flight instructor)
For more information, please contact: Erin McCleskey, (702) 468-0137, firstname.lastname@example.org