The B-17 Flying Fortress, nicknamed “Sentimental Journey,” flew in the Pacific theatre during the Second World War. Of the 1.5 million tons of bombs dropped in Europe by U.S. aircraft during this time, 640,000 tons came from B-17s. The CAF describes the B-17 as a "heavy strategic bomber" that "helped the Allies win the Second World War." The Sentimental Journey is one of eleven B-17s still flying in North America.
The B-25 Mitchell, nicknamed “Maid in the Shade,” flew 15 combat missions over Italy in 1944. Mitchell bombers led the first U.S. response to the attack on Pearl Harbour, when several of the aircraft were launched from the deck of an aircraft carrier to make a surprise attack on Japan in 1942. The Maid in the Shade is a twin-engine bomber built in 1943 and had been stationed in Corsica where it was involved in some combat. Known as one of the most versatile warplanes, its main missions were to stop the enemy's ground transportation of goods and supplies. It bombed bridges and railways. The B-25s also performed photo reconnaissance and submarine patrol.
Both aircraft, which had been used for combat. The planes are permanently housed at the Arizona wing of the Commemorative Air Force in the U.S., affectionately called the CAF Ghost Squadron.
The CAF is a non-profit organization that restores and preserves the former combat aircraft in flying condition. A staff of mostly volunteers takes the aircraft on tour each summer to bring the "flying museums" to people across North America for educational purposes and to honour the courage and sacrifice of crews who flew and fought for freedom in these warplanes.