John Ward’s B-25 Mitchell Bomber “Old Glory”
Modesto’s John Ward is the proud owner and pilot of "Old Glory", a beautifully polished, natural finish B-25 Mitchell Bomber that will be a showstopper at the 27th annual Pacific Coast Dream Machines Show, April 30 at Half Moon Bay Airport.
“Old Glory" is similar to the planes used in the famed Doolittle Raid of World War II.
Ward’s incredible B-25 has had a long career over its lifetime, ranging from Army Air Force bomber in WWII in the Mediterranean, to civilian fire bomber and tanker, to suffering a forced landing and being placed in storage, to another complete restoration, and finally to back in the air in its current military configuration.
In 1995, the plane went through an 18,000 restoration.
Ward has a deep connection to warbirds. His father flew as a gunner/engineer in the Aleutians in PBY's, one of the most widely used seaplanes in World War II.
The North American B-25 Mitchell was an American twin-engined medium bomber manufactured by North American Aviation.
It was used by many Allied air forces, in every theater of World War II, as well as many other air forces after the war ended, and saw service across four decades.
The B-25 was named in honor of General Billy Mitchell, a pioneer of U.S. military aviation.
By the end of its production, nearly 10,000 B-25s in numerous models had been built.
These included a few limited variations, such as the United States Navy's and Marine Corps' PBJ-1 patrol bomber and the United States Army Air Forces' F-10 photo reconnaissance aircraft.