Texas Flying Legends Museum North American B-25J

Named in honor of General Billy Mitchell, pioneer of American military aviation, the B-25 Mitchell was manufactured by North American Aviation and saw service in every theater of WWII.

Just when the B-25 bomber was considered the most modern aviation technology, Maj. Paul I. “Pappy” Gunn, an engineer in Australia, removed the bombardier-navigator from his greenhouse compartment in the nose of a B-25 and found he could install eight forward-firing .50-caliber machine guns in the aircraft. Thus was born the low-level B-25 strafer.

Capt. Charles E. “Pop” Rice, Jr. became Operations Officer of the 499th Squadron and was assigned to Betty’s Dream in June of 1945. Co-piloted by Victor Tatelman, it escorted two “Betty” bombers carrying the Japanese peace envoys to Ie Shima on August 19, 1945, and again on the return mission from the conference in Manila with General MacArthur’s staff. By the time these talks ended World War II, Betty’s Dream carried 22 mission symbols and two silhouettes representing sunken Japanese ships.

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