You may have already seen or even heard it as it arrived in the city.
A flying relic from the Second World War is calling Kingston home for the next several days. The American B-25 Bomber is a part of the “Flying Legends of Victory Tour,” and on Monday, a handful of local media and some special guests got a chance to take to the sky.
Paul Hlavaty is the crew chief of the nearly 75-year-old aircraft. He says the bomber has some real history to it.
“It was eventually stationed on the island of Corsica off the west coast of Italy,” Hlavaty said. “From there, it flew 15 bombing missions over Northern Italy and Yugoslavia at the time that Patton and Montgomery were driving the Germans north, up through the boot of Italy.”
Known as “Maid in the Shade,” the bomber is one of only 34 in the world that is still flying and one of just a few with an actual combat history. The aircraft is a part of the non-profit Commemorative Air Force Museum out of Mesa, Arizona. Wayne Johnston, a 41-year veteran of the Canadian Forces and founder of Wounded Warriors Canada, was one of the special guests on board Monday’s promotional flight.
“I’ve always wanted to fly in a Lancaster in Hamilton, being Commonwealth,” said Johnston. “But [this is] a B-25 and this particular one being a ‘J’ model, the best they’ve got. An incredible aircraft.”
Flights start on Friday, with tickets ranging from $325 to $650. Ground tours are also available before the bomber flies out on Monday.
The vintage aircraft, which was built in 1944, is at the Kingston Flying Club at the Norman Rogers Airport.