Thrill seekers are in for a treat.
For the next week, you can take a ride on a B-25 warplane out of Lake Simcoe Regional Airport as part of the Summer Flying Legends Victory Tour.
One of the most iconic airplanes from the Second World War, the B-25 Mitchell Maid in the Shade, has made a stop in Oro-Medonte Township starting Monday until July 23 as part of the tour, which is travelling across the United States and Canada.
“Thank you for bringing our motto – Proud heritage, exciting future – to life,” said Oro-Medonte Township Mayor Harry Hughes in his remarks at the ceremony to welcome the warplane to the area.
Simcoe County Warden Gerry Marshall and Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman were also in attendance.
The public can climb aboard the B-25 bomber to soak in stories of courage and service by Americans during one of the most important periods in U.S. history.
The B-25 is one of only 34 warplanes in the world that is still flying.
On Monday, two local Second World War veterans, Jim McPhee and Jim Parks, climbed aboard the B-25 for its first flight in Simcoe County, strapping in to seats at the back of the plane.
“I spent my career flying backwards,” laughed McPhee.
Built in 1944, the B-25 Maid in the Shade was developed by North American Aviation and used mainly as a low altitude strafe and skip bomber. The aircraft was used in America’s first large-scale bombing offensive in the Philippines and sunk eight ships and shot down five planes.
The B-25 is most remembered for the Doolittle Raid on Japan where Jimmy Doolittle led 16 B-25s across Japan bombing targets.
This aircraft has flown 15 combat missions from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31, 1944 including 13 over Italy and two over Yugoslavia.
Pilot Richard Petty loves the B-25 Maid in the Shade, and travels around North America with the plane. He says he first laid eyes on it back in 1968 when he was going through flight school.
“This one I love, and I stay with it,” said Petty.
The aircraft will be open to the public for tours on Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 2-6 p.m. and on Tuesday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Rides are taking place Friday through Sunday.
Reservations are required.
For more information, including pricing, and to book, click here.
For more information about the Flying Legends of Victory Tour, click here.