The B-25J and several other warbirds of the Texas Flying Legends Museum stopped off at the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders Reunion in Dayton, Ohio, before they arrived in Minot this month.
The reunion, held at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, commemorated the 70th anniversary of the famous Doolittle Tokyo Raiders Raid on Japan, a raid led by the late Lt. Col., later Gen., James H. "Jimmy" Doolittle.
The reunion was one of the largest gatherings of B-25 Mitchell bombers since World War II. Four of the five living Doolittle raiders attended.
“Betty’s Dream,” a B-25 Mitchell bomber belonging to the Texas Flying Legends Museum, is shown in maintenance in Minot at Pietsch Aircraft Restoration and Repair last May. The warbird now is back in Minot in maintenance. A few days ago it took part with other B-25s in the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders Reunion in Dayton, Ohio.
The Texas museum's B-25 "Betty's Dream," crew included Alan Miller, of Hawaii, captain; Freddy Caraveo, of Houston, co-pilot; and Alan's father, Bill Miller, of Hawaii, flight mechanic.
Minot pilot Warren Pietsch flew the P-40; Bob Odegaard, the Zero; Casey Odegaard, the P-51; and Doug Rosendahl, of Mason City, Iowa, the Corsair. The Odegaards are father and son from Kindred.
While at the Doolittle reunion, the Texas museum warbird pilots had a surprise for two World War II veterans from Kettering, Ohio.
Center named for general
MINOT AIR FORCE BASE Minot Air Force Base has a connection to the late Gen. James H. "Jimmy" Doolittle, who led the famous Doolittle Tokyo raiders raid 70 years ago.
The base's Jimmy Doolittle Center, an all-ranks military club, is named for the late aviation pioneer.
- Eloise Ogden
"We gave Walter and Herb Stackler a ride," said Warren Pietsch, who is chief pilot for the Texas museum.
"Walter was a B-25 tail turret who was shot down in Indochina in his second mission by ground fire and Herb was a P-47 pilot in Europe," Pietsch said.
"They were in separate theaters of war, one was a bomber guy, one was a fighter guy. Herb flew the opening fighter sweep for D-Day across the channel," he said. "Anyway, we surprised those two brothers. Their whole family was out there 30 to 50 people friends and three generations of their family.
"We surprised them and gave Walter a ride in the B-25. The last time he'd been in one, he bailed out of it in 1945. And we had Herb in the back of the Mustang and took him out on a formation ride at sunset with the whole fleet and did a picture shoot," Pietsch said.
Freddy Caraveo, co-pilot of the B-25J Mitchell "Betty's Dream," who is currently in Minot and met the Stackler brothers, said, "Actually I connected a little more with him (Walter Stackler) because I fly the B-25 and he flew in the B-25 too. He did two missions. The second mission he was shot down so he had to jump out. He said that was the third time of ever being in a B-25. He never thought he would be in a B-25 after that."