B-25J-30-NC SN 44-30988 "Semper Fi"
The B-25J-30-NC SN 44-30988 flying as "Semper Fi" was delivered on March 21, 1945. She was transferred to the U.S. Navy as PBJ-1J BuNo 35857. She was delivered to the USN modification center at Elizabeth City with modifications completed on May 24, 1945. Her first assignment was to 81 Service Squadron as a storage replacement pool during the war. On November 15, 1945, she was assigned to a flight testing program with the Navy Special Weapons Unit. The testing involved a new rocket launcher delivery system. After a year of testing, she was assigned to a Naval Pool Squadron in January of 1947 and declared surplus in March of that year. The following summary of assignments are listed on her record card:
|03/21/1945||Elizabeth City, NJ||Modification to PBJ-J|
|05/24/1945||Elizabeth City, NJ||USMC Service Sqdn 81|
|11/15/1945||Johnstown, PA||Naval Special Weapons Division|
|12/15/1945||Johnstown, PA||Naval Air Maintenance Unit|
|01/28/1947||Johnstown, PA||Pool Service Sqdn|
On July 1, 1947, she was sold to the St. Louis Flying Service at Krats Airport in St. Louis, Missouri. Her civil registration was assigned as N5865V. She was converted for corporate use with an executive interior. This conversion included a floor over the bomb bay, soundproofing, additional seats, windows and new engines as well as other alterations for corporate use. In January of 1948, she was sold to Continental Airlines. She was sold to the Oilfield Aviation Corporation of Houston, Texas in April of 1950. She underwent an extensive executive conversion including an airstair door and chrome plating. She was damaged in a wheels-up landing in mid-1951. She was repaired and returned to service. In April of 1960, she was sold to the Atlantic Aviation Corporation of Wilmington Delaware. She was sold again in April of 1961 to Silvio J. Adano of South Merrimack, New Hampshire. In August of the same year, she was sold to Graubart Aviation, Inc. at Porter City Airport, Valparaiso, Indiana. Again, in May of 1962, she was sold to Aero Enterprises of Elkhart, Indiana. By August of 1962, she was sold to Robert Gore of Chicago, Illinois. She was sold back to Aero Enterprises in July of 1963. They immediately sold her to Air Services Inc. of Addison, Texas. She was used to test electronics including Doppler navigation radar and side-looking radar. She was sold in 1971 to Robert A. Mathews of Jacksonville North Carolina. The next owner used her as a cargo aircraft between Central America and southern Florida. She was sold at a Public Sale in January 1976 after an unsuccessful search for the owner in Panama. She was then transferred to Tom Reilly, of Orlando, Florida in 1979. After restoration, she was then sold to Craig Tims of Roanoke, Texas. She was flown as "Big Ole Brew 'n Little Ole You". She was transferred to the CAF in February 1988 and by 1994 restoration was started by the Southern California Wing. They replaced a wing due to corrosion issues. The starboard waist window, which had been replaced with an air stair, was restored with the waist window section of 44-28765. On May 15, 2016, after a 23 year restoration, she became the only known flying PBJ-1J.
- Model: B-25J-30-NC
- Serial Number: 44-30988
- NAA Mfg. Number: 108-34263
- FAA Registration: N5865V
- Mfg. Plant: Fairfax - Kansas City, Kansas
- Completion Date: March 20, 1945
- Delivery Date: March 21, 1945
- Status: Flying
- Owner: Commemorative Air Force, Southern California Wing
- Location: Camarillo, California
- Website: https://www.cafsocal.com/
- Notable info: The only known surviving PBJ-1J. Aircraft design honors Capt. Doit L. Fish, who was flying PBJ-1J "MB 11" (BuNo 35243) when he and crew went MIA on May 30, 1945 over Mindanao, Philippine Islands.
This page represents the most current information we have on this aircraft. The information above was last updated 09/2017 with information provided by Bob Haney. Our goal is to have the most current and correct information possible. If you have any information about this aircraft not listed here or see anything posted in error, please contact the B-25 History Project so we may update our records.