Sealand Aviation Blog

Grumpy, the B-25D Mitchell Bomber, comes to call

Greg and Bob had their cameras.

John Sessions and crew of the Historic Flight Foundation, came to Campbell River to visit. Historic Flight owns the DC-3 that is in our hangar for various repairs and a recent re-paint.

Built in North American Aviation’s Kansas City plant, B-25D-30 Mitchell 433318/N88972 was delivered on October 27, 1943 to the USAAF’s advanced flying school at La Junta, Colorado.

 In 1944 the bomber was transferred to the Royal Air Force as part of the Lend\Lease program and worked for the Royal Canadian Air Force training crews to fly B-24 Liberators for the aerial offensive in Southeast Asia.

Post-war, it’s probable that it flew as part of Northwest Air Command responsible for the defense of Western Canada before going into storage.

 Early in 1962, “Grumpy” was struck off charge and sold by the Crown Assets Disposal Corporation to Joe Goldney of Vancouver, BC. Subsequent private owners have included North Star Aviation of Fairbanks, Alaska (forest fire fighting service) and Noel Merrill Wien of Anchorage, Alaska.

In 1987, after spending more than a decade in storage in Anchorage, “Grumpy” was acquired by The Fighter Collection of Duxford, U.K., and then flown to B-25 rebuilders Aero Trader of Chino, California. The aircraft was ferried in November 1987 to the United Kingdom. For 17 years, “Grumpy” participated as “a fan’s favorite” in many European air shows. After some more storage time at North Weald airfield, the plane was sold in May, 2008 to Historic Flight Foundation, Paine Field, Washington, and restored to airworthy condition by Aircraft Restoration Company in Duxford, England.

John Sessions and crew flew it VFR from London to Paine Field, in Everett, Washington. They take it to air shows and events around North America.

⇦ Back