Las Vegas Centennial Air Parade

May 7, 2005

As part of Las Vegas' 100 birthday celebration throughout 2005, the FAA gave special one-time-only clearance for a low-level flyover of the Las Vegas strip. Included in the air parade were numerous historically significant airplanes. Among them were two F18A dualB25 Mitchell.jpg (62045 bytes) purpose Fighter/Attack jets, a DC-3, a WACO biplane (pronounced Wahco), a T6 Texan (which I have flown), and the star of the show was the "Heavenly Body" a Mitchell B25 medium range bomber. 

 

In 1969 this airplane was purchased by Filmways Inc. and flown to Tallmantz Aviation at Orange County, California, for the Paramount movie, "Catch-22" and was one of eighteen B-25 aircraft used in that film.

  In April 1992, "Heavenly Body" was the first B-25 in fifty years to fly from the deck of an aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. Ranger in San Diego Bay. That event was to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of then, Lt. Col. James Doolittle's, flight of sixteen B-25 aircraft from the navy carrier, U.S.S. Hornet (CV-8), on April 18, 1942 to bomb Japan in retaliation for that country's attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. (Photo right of Gen. James Doolittle)

Riding in the nose gun position throughout the air parade, was Mickey Jones. YouKj_Scooch_Mickey Jones.jpg (326303 bytes) may recognize him from his many appearances as Pete on "Tool Time". But his real fame Heavenly Body and Heavenly Wife.jpg (316115 bytes) was in the 60's and 70's in the music business. He was kind enough to talk to me and Betty and Scooch about the plane and his fascination with aviation. Although he is not a pilot, he is a WWII buff and was very fun to chat with.