“Panchito” – History’s Messenger
Perhaps you watched this year’s nationally broadcast 4th of July Salute To America celebration from Washington DC. If you saw the incredible flights of military aircraft over the heart of Washington DC, you won’t soon for get them.
Did you know that was the first time a flight of such magnitude had ever attempted to bring together the airplanes and pilots of the modern United States military with the civilian pilots and restored vintage aircraft of World War II, Korea and Vietnam?
Larry Kelley of the Delaware Aviation Museum flew in the historic formation. In the Fall of 1997, Kelley bought the restored Mitchell B-25 bomber, “Panchito”. B-25’s are best known for being the airplanes that carried out the immortal Doolittle Raid on Japan, which was the United States first strike back against Japan following Pearl harbor.
For the past 23 years Larry and “Panchito” have flown all over North America, educating and inspiring millions with organic presentations of the men and machines who defended America during her most desperate hours. The experiences have been beyond amazing.In 2007, with the help of country music star and pilot Aaron Tippin, he put Panchito on a barge and floated her up the New Orleans Industrial Canal to Spanish Plaza, to celebrate the national convention of the Disabled American Veterans. He’s flown missing man formations for numerous Doolittle Raider Reunions and is a beloved member of the Raider family. He’s flown over dozens of heroes funerals at Arlington National Cemetery.
If you’ve ever wondered what it feels like to fly between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, directly over the White House, if you’d like to hear the personal remembrances of the heroes who flew the Doolittle Raid, if you like to hear stories of honor that will bringers to your eyes, don’t miss “Panchito – History’s Messenger with owner/pilot Larry Kelley. Brand new and exclusively on Warbird Website and Flying TV, Thursday, July 23 at 6pm CT / 7pm ET.