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Local warbirds to fly at Oshkosh air show

Eloise Ogden/MDN Warbirds pilots, from the, left, Alan Miller, Ryan Hunt and Mike Knabe, all of Atlanta, Ga., Bernie Vasquez of Vacaville, Calif., and Warren Pietsch of Minot are shown Thursday at Dakota Territory Air Museum in Minot. Behind them are the Hawker Hurricane, at right, and the Supermarine Spitfire, left, both rare warbirds. These planes and other warbirds with the Minot air museum will be taking part in EAA AirVenture Oshkosh at Oshkosh, Wis., next week.

Several warbirds at Dakota Territory Air Museum are heading for Oshkosh, Wis., to take part in EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, the worldwide known annual air show and gathering of aviation enthusiasts. The event runs from Monday through Aug. 1.

Warren Pietsch, Minot, chief pilot for the warbirds, said the Hawker Hurricane, the Supermarine Spitfire, P-51 Mustangs “Lope’s Hope 3rd” and “Miss Kitty III,” and the B-25 will be in the air show next Friday and Saturday.

The Hawker Hurricane recently arrived at the Minot air museum. A seven-year project, it came out of restoration at QG Aviation in Colorado. The 1942-built Hurricane is owned by Bruce Eames, a Dakota Territory Air Museum supporter who owns the majority of the warbirds at the Minot air museum, Brian Sturm, also of Minot, and Pietsch.

The British Spitfire and the Hurricane, are considered rare warbirds. They will be featured in the Oshkosh event, “Warbirds in Review,” interviews open to those attending the air show. The Hurricane is scheduled to be featured next Thursday and the P-51 Mustang “Miss Kitty III” will be featured next Saturday. Eames and Pietsch will be interviewed about the planes.

“‘Miss Kitty III’ was named for Kitty Rosenbaum who now is 95 years old,” said Pietsch

Capt. J.D. Rosenbaum of the 75th Fighter Squadron, 23rd Fighter Group, named the plane for Lavina “Kitty” Harris who became his wife, according to information from AirCorps Aviation in Bemidji, Minnesota. The plane received the paint scheme of the USAAF 75th Fighter Squadron, 23rd Fighter Group, based in the China-Burma-India Theater during World War II. Restored by Casey, Haley and Brady Odegaard, Odegaard Wings at Kindred and AirCorps Aviation, the plane first flew in 2019.

“Lope’s Hope 3rd,” a sister ship to “Miss Kitty III,” also is housed at the air museum in Minot.

Starting as a small gathering of aircraft and aviators nearly 70 years ago, EAA AirVenture has grown into a gathering becoming known as the greatest celebration of aviation in the world. The 2020 event was canceled due to COVID-19.

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