I would never want to relive my life; I could never be so lucky again. General James H. Doolittle
In Abbotsford Airshows past I have enjoyed the excitement of seeing the US Air Force Thunderbirds and the US Navy Blue Angels. I hold a particular preference for having seen the Blue Angels sometime in the early 80s fly the beautiful Douglas A-4 Skyhawks. For me an acrobatic flying team has to fly low and make lots of noise. This year’s Abbotsford Airshow featured the Canadian Forces Snowbirds flying the CT-114 Tutor jets. While I know that I would loose my lunch if I were to be a passenger in one of them, I simply yawn at the idea of watching them fly. They are simply not loud enough!
I still remember with some pleasure of having taken Rebecca to the Abbotsford Air Show and listening to her answer to my question “Which is your favourite plane?” “The Tomcat because it is the loudest.”
Sean Rossiter mentioned after this year’s visit to the show, “There were really no real headline acts, were there?” I sort of agreed but we also thought that watching a 1943 vintage North American B-25D Mitchell medium bomber was quite a treat. I don’t think that this particular B-25 saw much of the war but, nonetheless it was thrilling to hear its twin Wright Cyclone 14-cylinder, twin row radial engines. As I watched it fly I remembered having seen the1944 film 30 Seconds Over Tokyo and even listening to the not too well known group, Pere Ubu played their song 30 Seconds over Tokyo (as loud as those pair of Wright Cyclones!).
In wake of the Pearl Harbor, Bataan debacles General Jimmy Doolittle came up with the idea of having 16 land-based US Army bombers take off from the USS Hornet and bomb Tokyo for morale if not so much for the destructive effect. They did just that on 18 April 1942.
When I got home from Abbotsford I poured through my airplane book collection and read more about the B-25. From those books and some of the hit-or-miss exposures from my Noblex here are some images.
Mitchell B-25D Grumpy at the Abbotsford Air Show
The Glory of Flight
Originally published at blog.alexwaterhousehayward.com.