Minnesota Wing and Dixie Wing to Collaborate a Tour of the Southeast
The CAF’s Minnesota Wing and Dixie Wing are teaming up for a unique tour in several southeast states to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Doolittle Raid over Japan. The tour will include five stops with the Minnesota Wing’s B-25 Miss Mitchell, and the Dixie Wing’s P-51 Red Nose and SBD-5 Dauntless dive-bomber.
The Minnesota Wing, based in South St. Paul Minnesota, will start their tour season with the 75th Anniversary Doolittle Raid Reunion in Dayton, Ohio on April 17-18. From there, Miss Mitchell and crew will work their way down to Peachtree City, Georgia, for the CAF WWII Heritage Days on April 22-23.
"We have been talking about cooperating for a while," said Moreno Aguiari, Dixie Wing's marketing officer and tour coordinator. " We actually started working together earlier last year when the Dixie Wing built some parts from scratch for Miss Mitchell, and then the Minnesota Wing donated some much-needed parts for the Dixie Wing’s Link Trainer restoration project."
The units met up at the 2016 ICAS convention early in December and planned the tour. "ICAS should be a place where units can discuss CAF airplanes, business, coordinate and work on partnerships in addition to booking air shows,” said Aguiari.
Following the CAF Dixie Wing WWII Heritage Days, Miss Mitchell will be hitting the road with the Dixie Wing going to Greenville, South Carolina (May 6-7), Raleigh, North Carolina (May 13-14) and Virginia Beach (May 18-21) for the Military Aviation Museum's Warbirds Over the Beach. Additional tour stops are being considered.
“We’ve been trying to think outside the box as far as marketing our planes to the airshow community, and when the Dixie Wing asked us to participate in their WWII Heritage Days in April, we couldn’t pass it up,” said Amy Lauria, Minnesota Wing public information officer. “It’s been a long time since the Minnesota Wing has traveled south and we thought this was the perfect time to do it. We are excited to be working closely with another CAF unit to promote our mission.”
Rides in the B-25 Miss Mitchell will be available at some tour locations and can be booked in advance online at www.cafmn.org.
- April 17-18 Dayton, OH (Doolittle Reunion)
- April 22-23 Peachtree City, GA (WWII Heritage Weekend)
- May 6-7 Greenville, SC
- May 13-14 Raleigh, NC
- May 18-21 Virginia Beach, VA (Warbirds Over the Beach)
About the Minnesota Wing
The CAF Minnesota Wing was formed in 1971 as the first charter unit of the CAF. The wing operated as a maintenance support arm to help the CAF’s mission and its ever-growing fleet of rare aircraft.
Today, the CAF Minnesota Wing is home to six aircraft, a large motor pool fleet, and a unique collection of World War II artifacts that are on display. The museum is open Wednesdays and Saturdays, but during the spring and summer, many of the wing’s aircraft are on tour throughout the tri-state area, Canada and the U.S.
About Miss Mitchell
Miss Mitchell is a pristine example of what a dedicated group of volunteers can accomplish. Donated to the Minnesota Wing in the 1980s, volunteers immediately began a complete ground-up restoration of this versatile medium bomber.
The B-25 placed itself in World War II history books on April 18, 1942 when 16 of the medium- range bombers launched from the deck of an aircraft carrier in the Pacific Ocean and bombed mainland Japan. Led by Lt. Col. James "Jimmy" Doolittle, America had begun to turn the tables on the Japanese.
The B-25J Miss Mitchell served in the 310th Bomb Group, 57th Bomb Wing of the 12th Air Force in North Africa and Italy, completing more than 130 missions. Its legacy of no crew fatalities during all of its missions was a rare accomplishment. Prior to taking command of the 8th Air Force in Europe in 1944, the 12th Air Force was under the command of then Brig. Gen. Jimmy Doolittle.
After a 12-year restoration by the CAF Minnesota Wing, Miss Mitchell took her first flight on April 18, 1992 - exactly 50 years to the day of the daring Doolittle Raid. Today, Miss Mitchell appears at airshows and special events throughout the United States and Canada.
About the CAF Dixie Wing
The CAF Dixie Wing, based in Peachtree City, Georgia, was approved as the 83rd CAF unit and received its charter on Feb. 28, 1987. The Wing displays its collection of vintage World War II aircraft in numerous airshows throughout the United States. The wing is a non-profit, tax-exempt "flying museum" that relies on contributions of time and funds to carry out its mission.