OCEAN CITY, Md. - This World War II B25 bomber named 'Panchito' is no ordinary plane, it's a piece of American history.
"This airplane was built in 1944 and served the southeast training command fully combat equipped airplane. The markings on the airplane, 'Panchito' is a Disney character. The original airplane marked 'Panchito' marked exactly as this, served in the 41st bomb group out of Okinawa in the summer of 1945."
The rich history 'Panchito' holds is the reason its owner Larry Kelley brings it to air shows across the country, to keep history alive.
Kelley says, "The public can get a feeling of what it's like. They can see it, they can experience it, they can smell it, they can actually be in that big airplane with the vibrations and the noise and see what it was like for these young airman a day after day when their chance of surviving missions less of a chance of winning a coin toss."
Kelley tells 47 ABC that old aircrafts like 'Panchito' are icons of our military history. They not only serve as a history lesson, but something much more to those who fought for our freedoms during the war.
"This is that icon, this is that trigger mechanism for a lot of these old veterans to suddenly come out of that shell of memories that I've been haunting many of them for so many decades," explains Kelley.
To better commemorate their sacrifices Kelly has anyone who served during World War II sign the bombs at the bottom of the aircraft.
"He wrote his in bold because he was proud...he had five confirmed kills he was a gunner on a B25."
Kelley hopes this will serve as a reminder of what our country has accomplished and the sacrifices many made for our freedoms.
"When you forget your history you're doomed to repeat it."
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