B-25J-25-NC SN 44-30733 "Sandbar Mitchell"
The B-25J-25-NC SN 44-30733 under restoration as "Sandbar Mitchell". She was originally delivered to storage at Garden City AAF base, Kansas. In April of 1946, she was transferred to 4168th AAF base unit in South Plains, Texas. She was then transferred to the 4141st AAF base unit, in Pyote AFB, Texas in August of 1947. By November of 1948, she was transferred to the 3575th Pilot Training Wing at Vance AFB, Oklahoma. In March of 1954, she was converted to a TB-25N by Hayes. She was assigned to a training wing at Randolph AFB, Texas until August of 1958 when she was flown to storage. On December 28, 1959, she was sold to National Metals from Phoenix, Arizona. Her civil registration of N9088Z was assigned. She was immediately sold to Johnson Flying Service of Missoula, Montana. In December of 1966, she was sold to Ed Thorrude of Missoula, Montana and converted to a fire bomber. She flew as #8Z, based in Alaska. On June 27, 1969, she suffered a double engine failure shortly after take-off. The pilot, Herm Gallaher, was forced into a wheels up landing on a sandbar in the Tanana River. Two days after the crash, the engines, wheels, and control surfaces were removed. The cost of recovering the airframe was more than the price of another B-25 at the time. On July 5, 2013, she was recovered by the Warbirds of Glory Museum and is now under a complete restoration. She is currently beting restored to airworthy status in the colors of the 340th Bomb Group, 488th Squadron as ship 8Z.
Time was hard on the ageing bomber as people scavenged parts off of her leaving mostly the complete center section and parts of the forward and aft fuselage on the sandbar. Since the recovery they have been able to return a lot of the missing parts to the airframe with hopes to use as many original parts as possible in the restoration. They have located the cut cockpit section and are currently working on returning it the project. As for the parts that were missing, they have acquired a lot of NOS (New Old Stock) parts including major airframe pieces. The largest part that was damaged was the forward fuselage section which is being replaced with one off of ship TB-25K SN 44-30947
The B-25J-15-NC SN 44-28898 was recovered by the Nome Aviation and Military Museum in Nome Alaska and transferred to the Warbirds of Glory Museum. It included the center section, forward fuselage, wings, partial rear fuselage, engine mounts, and cowling. This aircraft was given to the USSR under the Lend Lease Program. The spar caps have signs of corrosion so it is not an airworthy air-frame as is, but great candidate for a static restoration. They are using a few of the good extruded parts such as the fuselage attachment angles to restore 44-30733. In turn the attachment angles that were damaged from 44-30733 that are in static condition will go with 44-28898. They are getting close to making this a complete project.
- Model: B-25J-25-NC
- Serial Number: 44-30733
- NAA Mfg. Number: 108-34008
- FAA Registration: N9088Z
- Mfg. Plant: Fairfax - Kansas City, Kansas
- Completion Date: Late 1944
- Delivery Date: February 16, 1945
- Status: Under Restoration
- Owner: Warbirds Of Glory Museum
- Location: Brighton, Michigan
- Website: https://www.warbirdsofglory.org/
- Notable info:
This page represents the most current information we have on this aircraft. The information above was last updated 12/2016 with information provided by Patrick Mahalek. 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.