GREAT FALLS- In 1942, hundreds of B-25 aircraft's made their way through Great Falls to Russia under the WWII Lend Lease.
Members of the Montana Veterans Memorial Association joined forces with Holman Aviation and the Great Falls International Airport to welcome a historic B-25J Mitchell Bomber aircraft back to the Electric City Monday.
'MADE in the SHADE' flew over and taxied in Great Falls at 11:00 A.M. on August 3, 2020.
The aircraft is owned by the Arizona Base of the Commemorative Air Force and is one of 34 aircraft still flying out of the near 10,000 that were built.
'MADE in the SHADE' flew 15 combat missions over Italy and Yugoslavia to destroy railroad bridges in 1944.
The pilot, Mike Doyle, says flying MADE in the SHADE is a great honor.
“The term greatest generation is not just a term. It’s a real thing. We get to fly around in this airplane under perfect conditions with people shooting cameras at us. That’s it. In the day these were 19/20-year-old kids that were hauled off into combat, loaded with high explosive, and high octane gas. Nobody was taking pictures of them but everybody was shooting at them. They did an amazing job under terrifying condition. And they signed up to do it,” said Doyle.
The flight crew will continue to bring maid in the shade to cities to help educate, honor, and inspire all generations as they remember and continue to be the voice of those who are no longer here to tell the stories.
The general public can take tours of the bomber or arrange for a ride-along. The plane is available for tours 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm Monday and Friday-Sunday, and 9:00 am to 6:00 pm Tuesday-Thursday. Rides will be offered on Friday, Saturday, Sunday.
To book a ride you can visit their website.