Flying the B-25

I enjoy Meg Godlewski’s articles. I liked the one in the Aug. 10 issue about her flight in the B-25 (Flying the B-25).

I was a B-17 copilot in World War II and flew 30 missions over Germany from England, with my last mission on March 30, 1945. After the war I was in the ferry command and mostly flew the AT-6 all over the USA to the Air Reserve and National Guard units.

I also got 27 hours in the B-25 as a copilot. On one flight from Dallas, we landed at El Paso for fuel. The pilot told me to land the B-25. It was my first landing in the B-25.  As you know, the B-25 has tricycle landing gear and I made a three-point landing. It hit the runway pretty hard and didn’t bounce. When all three wheels are on the runway it has a negative lift.  I learned to land better the next time.

In another flight we flew to Aberdeen, Md., where the Army tests its explosives. They were going to blow up the B-25.  When we landed it had only 27 hours on it. What a shame to blow up a new B-25.

I’m still flying and have a Grumman Cheetah that I had the 180-hp engine put in after our flight to Alaska in 1980.

The Collings Foundation was in Placerville, Calif., in June 2001. I had my Air Force uniform on and the Collings son was flying it. He got out of the pilot’s seat and said, “you fly it.” I got to fly it about 20 minutes and he took my camera and took pictures of me. I really enjoyed it.

ROBERT ARNOLD
Cameron Park, Calif.

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