EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT)- More than 75 years after the end of World War Two a B-25 bomber plane dubbed the “Champaign Gal” has a new mission in Evansville.
With many living World War Two veterans nearing or passing their 100th birthday, pilot Chuck Mangold says it’s more important than ever to preserve their stories, and American history. Dozens of pilots have signed the Champaign Gal’s bomb bay doors- preserving their name and connecting their stories to a moving museum.
Still, a roughly 80-year-old plane is far from flying first class. Mangold says the airplane can be tricky to operate without modern instruments. It is loud, vibrates, lacks air conditioning, and pilots or passengers can smell the exhaust fumes but Mangold says flying these historic planes is a dream come true and “an amazing feeling.”
Museum officials say they’re just as excited to have the Champaign Gal in town as Mangold and the flight’s crew were to fly it to the River City. Whether people want to fly them, touch them, inspect them, or just look at them- Dona Bone says Tri-Staters always show a “great response” to planes like the Champaign Gal.
The plane will be available to the public, including a limited number of flights around town, Saturday and Sunday before it takes off again on Monday.