A piece of WWII history flies over Elkhart
ELKHART, Ind. -- Volunteers from the Yankee Air Museum out of Belleville, Michigan brought a WWII bomber to Elkhart Saturday, offering rides to the public, but the plane also had special ties to the community.
“It was designed back in 1939 and it flies very very well," said Jerry Nichols, who was piloting the plane over the weekend. "It’s just a great airplane.”
It was a B-25D model bomber. The Yankee Air Museum bought the plane in 1988 and spent four and a half years restoring it.
The plane itself is a rare piece of history.
“There are very few of these airplanes left," said Nichols. "In fact on B-25s, the last count I had there’s only 25 of them left flying in the United States, so it is a privilege to be able to fly the airplane.”
The plane flew a total of eight missions back in 1944. Now it is giving people the chance to taste history.
The crew from Yankee Air Museum offered rides in the plane on Saturday and Sunday, taking seven passengers up at a time for about 30 minutes. Tickets were $400 a person.
But the reason the bomber came to Elkhart was a little more sentimental.
“We are here because of a wedding that went on this weekend, for the granddaughter of the original crew chief of this plane when it served its missions in April and May of 1944," said Jerry Lester, part of the B-25 crew. "To honor him.”
Not only did the plane fly over the wedding ceremony at Notre Dame on Saturday, it also served as a back drop at the reception at Elkhart Municipal Airport.
It was a way to have the bride's grandfather at the wedding with his name still visible on the side.