The mortal remains of a previously unknown North American B-25J Mitchell survivor have come to light in Nome, Alaska. The aircraft, 44-28898, was one of many such Mitchells provided to the Soviet Union as part of the lend-lease program in WWII. These aircraft made their way to Russia via Alaska, and it was here where ‘898 had a problem. American crews would ferry the bombers to Fairbanks, Alaska, where their Soviet counterparts would take over the duties, making the hop to Nome, before crossing the Bering Straits to Siberia. ‘898 suffered a serious landing accident when she arrived at Nome, and her repair was beyond the means of the rudimentary facilities at the base. So the wreck found its way to the dump, where a wartime salvage crew removed useable parts, before abandoning the rest to time. The intervening decades have not been kind to old bus which has suffered further indignities from locals and visitors alike. Parts have wandered off, initials carved and more than a few people have taken potshots at the remains. Most would have written off the now-bullet-stricken hulk. However, the locally-based Nome Aviation & Military Museum decided to recover the wreck from its dump site, and kindly donated her to the Warbirds Of Glory Museum in Brighton, Michigan.
The Warbirds Of Glory Museum, as our regular readers well know, is hard at work repairing another B-25 whose center section they recovered from a sand bar near Fairbanks, Alaska last year. The “Sandbar Mitchell” is progressing well, but is always in need of spare parts, of which many difficult to find pieces are certainly still contained in ‘898’s remaining sections.
Now comes the tricky part. The Warbirds of Glory Museum needs help to pay for transporting the remains of the Lend-Lease Mitchell from Nome, Alaska to their home in Brighton, Michigan. If anyone is interested in helping sponsor the move, or making a donation, please do click HERE to find out how to contribute. With this aircraft back in the contiguous USA, it seems far more likely that her bones might one day provide the basis for her own resurrection. The remains consist of a battered center section, ancillary components, and an outer wing panel. Warbirds Of Glory will eventually find an appropriate home for ‘898 once they’ve finished salvaging what they need, so the money spent in bringing her in from the cold will certainly have a multiplying, positive effect for their museum.