Ellsworth Air Show fun starting early with Raid ’22

BOX ELDER, S.D. — We’re only a week out from the Ellsworth Air and Space Show, but the fun will start long before the gates open.

Ahead of the show, a World War II-era B-25 bomber will grace the skies over the Mount Rushmore State.

“People look up and they see this loud, silver, ancient-looking machine flying through the air,” says John Mollison, the mission planner for Raid ’22. “It’s nothing like a commercial aviation or even civil aviation today. These airplanes are extraordinarily loud. They’re drafty, they’re bumpy, but what they really do is it puts you into history in a way that you just simply couldn’t get in a book or watching a movie.”

The B-25 was a medium bomber in World War II, and it was designed in the thirties.

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photo courtesy: John Mollison

“The B-25 was designed for war, and if you go out and you see another twin engine airplane today, they’re designed for passengers.”

And the inside is just as cool as the outside.

“You get inside it; it’s that zinc chromate green and there’s boxes of stuff, ammunition cans, and the skin is very thin,” Mollison adds.

Raid ’22 – named in honor of the Doolittle Raid – will make stops across the state before ending up at Ellsworth for the air show. It’s an unique chance to get up close to a real piece of history.

“The mindset that you get when you’re up close to these airplanes, you appreciate the people in the past who signed up, volunteered, were drafted, whatever – but they had these aircraft as their tools of war to defend our country,” Mollison says. “So these living history experiences are absolutely important for anybody who cares about our nation’s story.”

The bomber comes from the Minnesota Commemorative Air Force Wing, where it’s meticulously and lovingly restored and maintained.

Thumbnail Raid Prese001A true piece of history – history that’s relevant right here at home.

“History is nutritious,” Mollison says. “History is so much more than names, dates, and places. History is the story of us.”

The B-25 will land at Rapid City Regional Airport Thursday morning, May 12.

The community is invited to visit the display, and the flight crew will be on hand to answer all your questions.

CLICK HERE for more information on Raid ’22 and the Ellsworth Air Show.

Categories: Air & Space Show, ConnectCenter1-Events, ConnectCenter1-Military, Local News, South Dakota News