The Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre is a family-run museum which first opened in 1989. It is now widely seen as a living memorial to the 55,573 men of RAF Bomber Command who lost their lives during WWII. It presently houses two of Bomber Command’s most significant aircraft, an Avro Lancaster Bomber B.VII and a deHavilland Mosquito NF.II, along with many wartime vehicles such as a Ford WOT1 Crew Bus, the only one of its kind extant. For more information, visit www.lincsaviation.co.uk
On Thursday, November 10th, the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre announced the arrival of yet another vintage military aircraft at their facility in East Kirkby; North American B-25J Mitchell 44-29366. Until recently, this B-25 had been a part of the Royal Airforce Museum however, in 2021 they chose to deaccession several significant airframes, making them available for other organizations to acquire. As we reported a few days ago, the RAF Museum’s CASA 352 (Spanish built Junkers Ju 52) went to the Kent Battle of Britain Museum, and this August, the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre learned that they had made a successful bid for the Mitchell.
After months of communication and planning between the two museums, the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre finally welcomed their new prize to East Kirkby. Regarding this accomplishment, Maggie Appleton, the RAF Museum’s Chief Executive Officer stated: “It’s wonderful to be sharing this announcement with the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre. The B-25 Mitchell is an aircraft steeped in history and has many inspiring stories to share – from its original development to the pilots that flew it. I look forward to visiting soon to see the aircraft in its new home.”
Andrew Panton, General Manager for the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre then remarked: “It’s an absolute delight to be able to bring the B-25 to the Centre. The addition of this wonderful aircraft enables us to tell the story of 98 and 180 Squadrons prior to D-Day as part of 2 Group, Bomber Command. Our role is to educate future generations about Bomber Command so they will continue to be remembered… Having a range of aircraft operated by the Command helps us to bring their memory alive. We hope to breathe life back into 44-29366 in the coming years. We must extend our sincere gratitude to the RAF Museum for entrusting the future of the B-25 to us, and to Welchs Specialist Movements for their conscientious transport.“
The B-25 is currently sitting disassembled in one of the hangars at East Kirkby. Museum personnel will use this opportunity to perform a thorough inspection of the airframe to assess its condition, with the eventual aim of breathing new life back into the airframe as either a taxiable exhibit… or even a flyer. Obviously, their primary objective remains the continuation of their epic endeavor to return their Avro Lancaster B.VII NX611 back to the skies, but it is exciting to see the possibility of having another important Bomber Command aircraft on hand for similar treatment. In the interim, the B-25 will remain on static display at East Kirkby, with museum personnel expecting to reassemble the medium bomber during the week of November 21st.
For a complete history of B-25 Mitchell 44-29366, please click HERE.