In June 2015, a unusual Soviet B-25 J Mitchell bomber was recovered in Nome (Alaska) by Patrick Mihalek with the nonprofit Warbirds Of Glory Museum in Brighton, Michigan and the help of NACTEC's kids, the Northwestern Alaska Career and Technical Center in Nome. 

[B-25 J Nome via B-25J Sandbar Mitchell Restoration]

[B-25 J Nome via Nactec - Northwestern Alaska Career and Technical Center]

This bomber aircraft, left to rust in Nome after World War II was being stripped for parts. They came to Nome to rescue and recover this aircraft bomber that was sitting out on the tundra for the last 70 years and that had a uniquely Soviet twist, Matthew Smith, KNOM's reporter, says. 

[B-25 J Nome via B-25J Sandbar Mitchell Restoration]

As Matthew Smith, KNOM's reporter, reports, this B-25 went to Soviet Union through the "lend-lease program" leading up to World War II. The B-25 came to the Seward Peninsula in 1944, after being assembled in Kansas. The plane was officially handed over to Soviets pilots in Fairbanks, who were set to fly it to Nome and onward to the Russian front. The Nome B-25, however, never crossed the dateline; a rough landing in Nome left it un-flyable, and facilities in Nome at the time left it irreparable. But the Russian pilots of the Voyenno-Vozdushnye Sily—the Soviet Air Force—didn’t let the plane go to waste.

[B-25 J Nome via B-25J Sandbar Mitchell Restoration]

“The Soviets stripped it of all the parts and things they could use as repair parts, or replacement parts, that they felt they could use on their other B-25s,” said museum trustee Todd Trainor during his visit to Nome.

Patrick Mihalek said there were many valuable pieces that are still airworthy, that they need currently for the ongoing restoration of the B-25 "Sandbar Mitchell". “We’re going to continue our main project, which is restore Sandbar Mitchell to flying status”, Patrick Mihalek said. “There’s a few parts from this [Nome B-25] that are airworthy that we’ll put in Sandbar Mitchell, and then vice versa, the parts that are not airworthy from Sandbar Mitchell, because of damage, we’ll put on the Nome [B-25], so in that way, the [Nome plane] could resemble a B-25 once again”, Patrick Mihalek said also.

[B-25 J Nome via B-25J Sandbar Mitchell Restoration]

Over years, the B-25 has been used as an Improvised target shooting area. In the 1980s, the aviation enthusiast Mitch Erickson, got the plane loaded on a flatbed and hauled away for safekeeping, but one wing still bearing the red star of Soviet Russia remained trapped in the mud, Matthew Smith, KNOM's reporter, reports.

[B-25 J Nome via B-25J Sandbar Mitchell Restoration]

The Nome bomber now sits in a shipping container within Nome’s Satellite Field T-hangar—itself a relic from World War II—not far from where the wing was dragged from the mud. “Hopefully within the next year, we’ll be able to raise some money to have the shipping container shipped back to Michigan,” Mihalek said.

[B-25 J Nome via B-25J Sandbar Mitchell Restoration]

As Matthew Smith, KNOM's reporter, says, the ultimate goal would be to get the Nome bomber flying again, but the wing’s spars are corroded and a “substantial donation” would be needed to make that happen. Failing that, Mihalek said it could be assembled as a static airplane, offering a distinctly Soviet display piece for the Michigan museum to tell the unique story of the B-25.

[B-25 J Nome via B-25J Sandbar Mitchell Restoration]

Your generous donation will help get "Nome" B-25 J Mitchell and "Sandbar" B-25 J Mitchell. Donate here: www.warbirdsofglory.org

Source: 

Matthew Smith - www.alaskapublic.org | www.warbirdsofglory.org | Nactec - Northwestern Alaska Career and Technical Center |
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