‘Sandbar Mitchell’ Receives Donated Outer Wing Panels

Both B-25 outer wing panels now resting on old mattresses for support, having been unloaded from the trailer. (image via Warbirds of Glory Museum)

About three weeks ago we posted a lengthy article on the Warbirds of Glory Museum’s recent move to new premises at Oakland Southwest Airport near New Hudson, Michigan. The piece featured a nice interview with Patrick Mihalek, one of the organization’s principals, as well as a progress report on the status of their primary project, the restoration of B-25J Mitchell 44-30733, better known as the Sandbar Mitchell, due to the location of its recovery from the Alaskan wilds back in 2013. Well, we can now report that the project received a major boost with the surprise donation of a virtually New Old Stock set of outer wing panels from well-known warbird operator/restorer, Pat Harker!

A mysterious package arrived at the Warbirds of Glory Museum on Tuesday… a pair of apparently unused B-25 Mitchell outer wing panels! (image via Warbirds of Glory Museum)

Given the distinctive, and well-preserved roundels on their metal skins, these outer wing panels clearly once belonged to the Royal Canadian Air Force, most likely as a set of spares for maintaining their Mitchell fleet during the 1950s and 60s. Mr.Harker apparently obtained them from G and M Aircraft Ltd. in St. Albert, Alberta during the 1990s; the company once operated a number of B-25 air tankers. According to Mihalek, the panels seem to be in excellent condition, but will require cleaning and inspection to determine their airworthiness. Regardless, this extraordinary donation will likely shave years off the projected restoration time for the Sandbar Mitchell as the other set which Warbirds of Glory owns are not nearly so nice. This is a wonderful development, and speaks very highly of both Pat Harker and of course the team at Warbirds of Glory for inspiring such generosity.

For those wishing to help the Warbirds of Glory Museum achieve their goals, please consider making a donation HERE.



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