Earlier this month Anne and I attended the air show at Spirit of Saint Louis Airport. The Blue Angels were the main event for that show, but there were a number of ‘warm-up’ acts too. In addition to various acrobatic acts, the Missouri Wing of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) also participated. Based at nearby Smartt Field, this CAF wing’s air show display was a mixed bag of single engine and multi-engine WW II era aircraft. I picked their North American B-25J Mitchell named “Show Me!” to dwell on here.
This is the light bomber that soon after America’s entry into the war daringly launched from an aircraft carrier and bombed Japan, a mission that teed up the Battle of Midway that turned the tide in the Pacific. The B-25 was flown by Joseph Heller, so it was not surprising that he used a North African B-25 unit as the backdrop for his bestselling 1961 novel, “Catch-22”. If memory serves me correctly, Anne’s Uncle Duke also flew the B-25 out of North Africa during the war. I wonder what he thought of Heller’s novel.