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2010 Doolittle Raiders Reunion and B-25 Gathering (Recap with PHOTOS)

Posted By:
Zack Baughman
543
Posts
483
#1 Posted: 4/22/2010 09:32:15

I thought I'd create a separate post from my other Doolittle Raiders post - this time with a rundown of the event and a bunch of photos.  I left Oshkosh at 2am on Thursday the 15th and was able to get to Grimes Field in Urbana, Ohio where the B-25s were mustering by 11:30am.  I spent all day filming and taking photos, then missed the action at Grimes on Friday having spent most of the day visiting with a WWII veteran in Columbus.  Friday evening I attended the official Doolittle Raiders dinner at the National Museum of the United States Air Force (NMUSAF) which was simply amazing.  Each of the four Raiders in attendance (Lt. Col. Dick Cole, Maj. Tom Griffin, Lt. Col. Bob Hite, and Master Sgt. David Thatcher) was escorted into the Modern Flight gallery where the dinner was held, and the crowd gave a standing ovation for each one.  It was a very moving moment, and I felt honored to be in their presense.  Just to show how important this event was to the Air Force, the keynote speaker for the night was none other than Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley. 

After leaving the dinner I met up with a good friend and we drove back out to Grimes Field where we took some night shots of the B-25s.  Saturday morning we hustled out to the crowd line at the NMUSAF to see the B-25s come in and land on the runway just to the south of the museum.  The Mitchells had taken off at 7am from Grimes in 90 second intervals, and arrived at the NMUSAF at about the same intervals.  I think it is the closest I will ever come to what it must have looked and sounded like when the bombers returned from a mission during WWII.  At 10am they opened the gates and allowed the public to go view the bombers up close.  My friends and I spent six hours walking the static display line.  You literally could not turn around without bumping into a WWII veteran.  It was really quite amazing.  One of the highlights of the day was being able to climb up on the wing of the B-25J "Panchito" and see a line of seventeen B-25s lined up. 

Saturday evening was a lot of fun too, as some friends had a cookout at their hangar at Moraine Airpark in Dayton.  Good food, good friends, and good conversation cannot be beat!

Sunday was a special day during the reunion.  My friends and I spent part of the morning taking photos from a high vantage point alongside the road on the east side of the field before we (and a bunch of other photographers) were chased away by the base police.  Apparently it is frowned upon to shoot photos "into" Wright-Pat.  After that we headed to the other side of the field and scoped out a place on the west end of the field where we were "safe" from the base police and could get photos and videos of the B-25s as they took off heading west.  They began taking off exactly at 12:30pm in 30-second intervals, then began forming up off to the south for a massive flyover in six waves over the Memorial Gardens where the Raiders were waiting.  The flyover was scheduled for 1pm, and I can tell you that the first wave was over the Memorial Gardens exactly at 1pm!  Those crews were really on time and on target! 

After the crowds dispersed, my group of friends all headed back out to Grimes Field to watch a few of the remaining B-25s give rides.  That evening the folks at Moraine Airpark held another cookout, and gave my friends and I rides in their WACO biplanes.  It was the perfect ending to a what can only be called an "EPIC" event!  And now for the photos:

GRIMES FIELD


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EAA Timeless Voices Program Coordinator & Museum Collections Assistant "Let No Story Go Untold!"
Zack Baughman
543
Posts
483
#2 Posted: 4/22/2010 09:42:04

 GRIMES FIELD - continued

L to R: Me, EAA members Chris Henry, Tim Cox, Eric Rood

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EAA Timeless Voices Program Coordinator & Museum Collections Assistant "Let No Story Go Untold!"
Zack Baughman
543
Posts
483
#3 Posted: 4/22/2010 09:49:54

 SATURDAY APRIL 17 at NMUSAF


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EAA Timeless Voices Program Coordinator & Museum Collections Assistant "Let No Story Go Untold!"
Zack Baughman
543
Posts
483
#4 Posted: 4/22/2010 10:02:10

 SATURDAY APRIL 17 at NMUSAF - continued


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EAA Timeless Voices Program Coordinator & Museum Collections Assistant "Let No Story Go Untold!"
Zack Baughman
543
Posts
483
#5 Posted: 4/22/2010 10:19:04 Modified: 4/22/2010 10:21:51

SUNDAY APRIL 18 at the NMUSAF


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 The last shot I took before leaving Grimes Field late Sunday afternoon....

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EAA Timeless Voices Program Coordinator & Museum Collections Assistant "Let No Story Go Untold!"
Barry Herwald
Warbirds of America Member
10
Posts
3
#6 Posted: 4/22/2010 11:33:14

Nice review Zack! Wish I could have made it down there with you guys.



Kathy Callahan
Young Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
10
Posts
4
#7 Posted: 4/22/2010 11:41:32 Modified: 4/22/2010 11:42:37

Thank you, Zack!

My 14 year old really wanted to go to this. He will be thrilled to read your recap and see your photos. Thank you for taking the time to upload everything for those of us who couldn't attend!

 



Young Eagles Coordinator, EAA Chapter 80 (Omaha, Nebraska)
Bill Fischer
AirVenture Volunteer
19
Posts
16
#8 Posted: 4/22/2010 12:51:16


SNF2010 032.jpgZack,

Thanks for sharing - great stuff!! 

Barbie III was at Sun 'n Fun earlier in the week and then headed north to participate in Ohio.  Here's a pic from Sun 'n Fun - the business end of Barbie III.

 

-Bill



Bill Fischer
Zack Baughman
543
Posts
483
#9 Posted: 4/22/2010 14:16:52
Bill Fischer wrote:

 


Zack,

Thanks for sharing - great stuff!! 

Barbie III was at Sun 'n Fun earlier in the week and then headed north to participate in Ohio.  Here's a pic from Sun 'n Fun - the business end of Barbie III.

 

-Bill

 

There was a WWII vet speaking near Barbie III when I was taking shots of her at the NMUSAF on static display, and he was saying that they would fire the .50s at a ground target to see where the pattern was hitting, and if it was in the right area...BOOM!  They'd fire the cannon.  He was ushered off to do an interview with someone before I could get his name and contact info.  I'm not sure which has the scarier front end - Barbie III or Betty's Dream with the eight .50s clustered in the nose.


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EAA Timeless Voices Program Coordinator & Museum Collections Assistant "Let No Story Go Untold!"
Zack Baughman
543
Posts
483
#10 Posted: 4/22/2010 14:42:08


 WHY I WAS THERE


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EAA Timeless Voices Program Coordinator & Museum Collections Assistant "Let No Story Go Untold!"
Jim Baumann
Vintage Aircraft Association MemberWarbirds of America Member
62
Posts
40
#11 Posted: 4/22/2010 20:39:41

Thanks for sharing Zack....Wish I could have been there.  I'm gonna find you at Oshkosh this year just to say hey and thank you in person!  I'm sure you will never forget the Gathering and reunion.

 

JIM



"I Fly because it releases my mind from they tyranny of petty things" ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Thomas Steber
125
Posts
55
#12 Posted: 4/24/2010 10:04:10

Great pictures Zack!  Thanks so much for sharing.  Wish I could have been there to see a once in a lifetime event.

Your pictures help ease the pain of not making it there!



Waiting on the Powerball!