North American B-25J “Sandbar Mitchell”

North American B-25J, serial number 44-30733, nicknamed "Sandbar Mitchell" after it crashed on a Tanana River sandbar near Fairbanks, Alaska in June of 1969. Sandbar Mitchell is owned by the Warbirds Of Glory Museum and is directed my Legend Of Aces Aviation owner Patrick Mihalek.

After a successful June 2013 recovery mission and with Patrick’s guidance she will be brought back to her former glory by volunteers and this B-25J will once again grace the skies over America. For more information about the museum and Sandbar Mitchell including monthly updates please visit the museums website:

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Timeline History of Sandbar Mitchell

· Manufactured by North American Aviation, Kansas City, KS, 1944
· Delivered to USAAF as 44-30733, February 16 1945
· Moved into storage at Garden City AAF, KS, February 1945
· Transferred to 4168th AAF Base Unit, South Plains AAF, TX, April 1946
· Transferred to 4141st AAF Base Unit, Pyote AFB, TX, August 1947
· Transferred to 3575th Pilot Training Wing Vance AFB, OK November 1948
· Converted to TB-25N, March 1954
· Transferred to 3510th Training Wing, Randolph AFB, TX, November 1957
· Moved to Aircraft Storage Branch, Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ, May 1958
· Stored at Davis Monthan AFB, AZ, August 1958-1959
· Dropped from inventory as surplus, December 1959
· Sold to National Metals, Phoenix, AZ, December 1959-1960
· Registered as N9088Z
· Sold to Johnson Flying Service, Missoula, MT, December 1959-1966
· Sold to Edgar L. Thorsrud, Missoula, MT, December 1966-1970
· Converted to fire tanker
· Flew as #8Z, based in Alaska
· Forced landing on Sandbar, Fairbanks, AK, June 27, 1969
· Stripped airframe derelict at crash site, Tanana River for 44 years
· Sold to Warbirds Of Glory Museum, Brighton, MI 2013-current
· Recovered July 5, 2013

History of the North American B-25 Mitchell

The B-25 was named in honor of General Billy Mitchell, a pioneer of U.S. military aviation. By the end of its production, nearly 10,000 B-25s in numerous models had been built. These included a few limited variations, such as the United States Navy's and Marine Corps' PBJ-1 patrol bomber and the United States Army Air Forces' F-10 photo reconnaissance aircraft.

The B-25 was a descendant of the earlier XB-21 (North American-39) project of the mid-1930s. Experience gained in developing that aircraft was eventually used by North American in designing the B-25 (called the NA-40 by the company). One NA-40 was built, with several modifications later being done to test a number of potential improvements. These improvements included Wright R-2600 radial engines, which would become standard on the later B-25.

An improvement of the NA-40B, dubbed the NA-62, was the basis for the first actual B-25. Due to the pressing need for medium bombers by the army, no experimental or service-test versions were built. Any necessary modifications were made during production runs, or to existing aircraft at field modification centers around the world.

A significant change in the early days of B-25 production was a redesign of the wing. In the first nine aircraft, a constant-dihedral wing was used, in which the wing had a consistent, straight, slight upward angle from the fuselage to the wingtip. This design caused stability problems, and as a result, the dihedral angle was nullified on the outboard wing sections, giving the B-25 its slightly gull wing configuration. Less noticeable changes during this period included an increase in the size of the tail fins and a decrease in their inward cant.

A total of 6,608 B-25s were built at North American's Fairfax Airport plant in Kansas City, Kansas.

B-25 Mitchell Specifications
Max Gross Wt....
Empty Wt............
4 to 6
67 ft 7 in
52 ft 11 in
16 ft 4 in
35,000 lb
19,480 lb
Max Speed.........
Service Ceiling..
Rate Of Climb.....
2 × Wright R-2600
1,700 hp
272 mph
1,350 miles
24,200 ft
900 ft/min


12–18 X .50 in machine guns.
8 x 5 in high velocity aircraft rockets.
3,000 lb bomb load.

(Historical Information from Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 22 July 2004)