B-25J-1-NC SN 43-4030 General Eisenhower's Transport
B-25J-1-NC SN 43-4030 was delivered on February 25, 1944. North American test pilot Wink Cantell flew her for 165 minutes making note of several production "squawks", most notably issues with the left mag and fuel pressure. After adjustments, she was flown to North American Aviation in Inglewood, California to undergo an extensive modification to a VIP transport. The conversion would be overseen by Inglewood factory engineer Donald Kennedy. The turret, nose gun, waist guns and tail guns were removed. Front to back, the bomb bay was lowered to accommodate a sleeping bunk. This required significant modifications to the wing carry-through. The remaining portion of the bomb bay was fitted with a fuel tank to extend the range. Aft of the bomb bay, seats, a full width table, and a walnut cabinet were installed. Windows were cut in the sides and the aft hatch was revised for easier access. The interior was insulated and covered in blue fabric over paneling. Commercial airliner seats were obtained from Douglas Aircraft. The previous tail gun positon held the relocated life raft. The new configuration could comfortably fit 10 people including the crew.
After completion, the B-25 would be ferried to the Eighth Air Force in England arriving shortly before D-Day. There, she was flown as Eisenhower's personal, but not exclusive, transport by Major Lawrence Hansen (pilot) and Captain Richard Underwood. She was used as General Eisenhower's transport until May of 1945 with only 1 incident. On September 2, 1944, an engine fire occurred after take-off at Laval. The fire was caused by several broken exhaust stacks presumably occurring during a rough landing at Laval. She would remain with the Eighth Air Force until returning to the United States in January of 1947.
After returning to the United States, she was stationed in the Washington, DC area for continued use as a command and administrative transport. She continued service with the 1100th Mission Support Group until December of 1958 when she was placed into storage. The following summary of assignments are listed on her record card:
|03/15/1944||NAA Inglewood, CA||Modification to VB-25J|
|05/05/1944||Departed USA||Code "SOSO" 89th AF, England|
|01/03/1947||Return to USA||Return to USA|
|01/04/1947||Bolling Field, D.C.||1100 Special Air Mission|
|08/21/1958||Andrews AFB, MD||1001 Air Base Wing|
|12/1958||Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ||Storage|
|02/1959||Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ||Surplus|
On April 22, 1959, she was sold to Lanward Leasing Corp of El Paso, Texas. Her registration was assigned as N3339G in July of 1959. By May of 1961, she was sold to Southwest Air Rangers of El Paso, Texas. They sold her in July of 1962 to Perry Logan of Littleton, Colorado. In August of 1964, she changed hands to the El Dorado Corporation of Dallas, Texas who sold her in May of 1963 to Joseph Frazier of El Paso, Texas. In July of 1965, she was transferred to Newell Hayes of El Paso, Texas. She was donated to the Air Museum of Ontario, California who transferred her to the USAF Museum Program in October of 1981. She currently resides at the South Dakota Air and Space Museum at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota.
- Model: B-25J-1-NC
- Serial Number: 43-4030
- NAA Mfg. Number: 108-24356
- FAA Registration: N3339G
- Mfg. Plant: Fairfax - Kansas City, Kansas
- Completion Date: February 24, 1944
- Delivery Date: February 25, 1944
- Status: Static Display
- Owner: United States Airforce
- Location: Ellworth AFB, South Dakota
- Website: http://www.sdairandspacemuseum.com/
- Notable info: Originally modified for use as General Eisenhower's personal transport.
This page represents the most current information we have on this aircraft. The information above was last updated 09/2020 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.