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A historical WWII plane visits Amarillo

WWII B-25 stops in Amarillo for the weekend. (Photo by Kendra Hall ABC7)

A piece of history is in Amarillo for the weekend. It is a historical WWII plane that played a big part in the war.

It is called the B-25 and it is known from the Doolittle Raid that happened during WWII. The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) is showing it off to the Panhandle Friday and Saturday.

Tuesday marked the 75th anniversary of the Doolittle Raid. It was the first raid on Japan just months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. B-25's, like the one visiting Amarillo, were used in the raid.

"Out of those 750, this is the last surviving Navy-model B-25 Mitchell," said John Skikas, Commemorative Air Force volunteer.

The CAF took the plane to Dayton, Ohio for a ceremony where the last survivor of the Doolittle Raid was honored. On their way back, they brought it by Amarillo.

"When people see it up close and when members of the public are able to go inside it, they're surprised at what it's like and what it must have been like," said Skikas.

The plane will be in town Saturday for anyone to see and there will be a hangar dance to honor the 75th anniversary of the Doolittle Raid. It will be from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday. It is $25 and anyone is welcome, but must make a reservation in advance by calling (806)335-9159. It will take place at the Texas Air and Space Museum in the hangar with the B-25. The T-6 Texan, which was used in WWII too, will also be there.

"I look back at lot of documentaries about the people who flew them in the war and it's really just inspiring to be a part of that and part of the mission of the CAF is to education," said Richard Mandel, Commemorative Air Force pilot. "It's to educate people about the sacrifices that the men and women made flying them in the war effort."

The pilots say both planes were important to WWII and they enjoy touring them around to educate people.


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