Fourth Street & William

Stopped. Watched. icon

Thursday, Sept. 22, around 6:30 p.m. The Yankee Warrior, B25D Mitchell bomber from the Yankee Air Museum at Willow Run, flying over my house, circling and flying back over my house again at low altitude. Awesome! This is the only plane of its type still flying and its sound is unmistakeable.

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  1. By Rob
    September 24, 2011 at 12:05 am | permalink

    The wife and I saw it too. I only saw it for a split second and guessed it to be a B24 on its way to Willow Run. Almost right. What are the differences between the two? Wasn’t one for land and one for sea, with a difference in the rear tail or something like that?

    Pretty neat!

  2. By Bear
    September 25, 2011 at 5:40 am | permalink

    By Golly, you are right. I thought at first it was a B24 Liberator also. But I looked up the Willow Run vintage bomber and it said it was a B25D Mitchell! I just double-checked and realized that the Mitchell had two engines, while the B24 Liberator had four engines. This craft definitely had four engines. A huge, lumbering old bomber that I’d read many stories about and the men who flew them as well! GOOD CALL! I knew that Willow Run constructed the B24′s during WWII, but I thought that they had a Mitchell. [photo]

  3. By Bear
    September 25, 2011 at 5:44 am | permalink

    The B24 was a heavy bomber, whereas the B25D Mitchell was a medium bomber.

  4. September 25, 2011 at 4:02 pm | permalink

    They are flying it today as well. If flew past my house maybe 20 minutes. Once you hear them, you know the sound of those engines anywhere.

  5. By Marvin Face
    September 25, 2011 at 8:08 pm | permalink

    Watched the Yankee Warrior take off today from Willow Run around 4pm. Those engines are awesome!

  6. By George Hammond
    September 29, 2011 at 10:53 am | permalink

    Bear, if the plane you saw had four engines, it was the Yankee Lady, a B-17. The Yankee Air Museum has two flying bombers, a B-17 and a B-25. The B-25 only has two engines. They don’t have a B-24, at least not flying, even though that’s the plane was made at the Willow Run plant. They also have a C-47 Skytrain transport in flying condition, and are working on a single-engine Stinson Reliant V-77 utility aircraft. [link]

  7. By YankeeGal
    September 29, 2011 at 11:14 pm | permalink

    She’s a beauty—!
    Unfortunately, there’s only one flyable B24 here in US from what I understand, but the Yankee would love to have one!
    Did you know that the Yankee Lady (B17) has her own facebook page?
    Please take some shots and upload them…or let everyone know when she’s in your area!

  8. September 30, 2011 at 2:15 pm | permalink

    Another way to tell the two planes apart is that the B-25 has two engines and a split tail (two vertical stabilizers) [photo], while the B-17 has four engines and a single tail [photo].

  9. By Bear
    October 1, 2011 at 4:10 pm | permalink

    Thanks for the corrections and information. Yeah, when you hear those engines once, you know them for sure, every time you hear them again. I couldn’t recall if it had the split tail or the single tail, so I figured it was the B24.

    I really must get down to the Yankee Air museum and check it out.

    I will hit up the facebook fan page next time I log in. It’s still a pretty awesome sight and you have to wonder how folks viewed it back in the day when they flew in formation over the countryside.

    I once saw a B52 take off in California years ago, and it amazed me how huge it was.

    Anyways, thanks for all the information, I’ve enjoyed reading this thread a lot

  10. By Bear
    October 1, 2011 at 4:46 pm | permalink

    Still, it’s interesting that the pictures of the Yankee Lady show her to have a natural metal exterior. The bomber that I saw was painted Olive Drab Green. Did they recently repaint her?