B-25 "...Mitchells do fly I.M.C."
a Channel 4 UK documentary by Anthony Howarth
and Carolyn Hicks
detailing the effort of John “Jeff” Hawke to transport five WW II North American B-25 Mitchell
bombers from the United States to England for use in the filming of “Hanover Street
” in 1978.
John "Jeff" Hawke, a former Flight lieutenant in the RAF
and had a long career as pilot for movies, airshows and flying aircraft across the Atlantic, not always legally
. In 1991 he disappeared over the Adriatic in a rented Piper Aztec
, his body was later recovered by Italian authorities. He has no official biography but you can still hear stories about him from old pilots at airshows and in aviation forums
," Pilot Erik Lorentzen & Co-Pilot Bernhard Haddican.
A USAF TB-25N navigation trainer retired from service in 1958, sold for scrap and registered for civilian use in 1960. It was remodeled as a B-25J and painted as both the “ABOMBinable Snow Man” and the “Laden Maiden”
in 1968 for the film “Catch-22.” After being sold several times it arrived in the UK in 1978 and was repainted as both “Gorgeous George-Ann” and “Thar She Blows” for the filming of “Hanover Street.” Placed in storage at numerous airports arount the UK the aircraft eventually deteriorated. In 2005 the airplane was sold to the Brussels Air Museum and transferred to Belgium where it is presently undergoing restoration
," Pilot John "Jeff" Hawke & Co-Pilot Bill Parish
A USAF TB-25J trainer retired from service in 1958, sold for scrap and registered for civilian use in 1959. Converted to B-25J and painted as a “Doolittle Raider” in 1967 for the Doolittle Raid 25th Anniversary
. It appeared in “Hanover Street” as “Brenda’s Boys” and “Miami Clipper.” In 1979 the plane was flown to Spain for the production of “Cuba.” It was damaged during filming and abandoned in Malaga Spain. Acquired by the Museo del Aire
in Madrid it was restored for static display and given the livery of the Spanish Air Force and remains on exhibit
at the Cuatro Vientos airbase museum in Spain.
," Pilot David Tallichet
& Co-pilot Lester Addy.
A USAAF B-25J bomber built in Sept. 1944 by North American Aviation at their Kansas City factory. Throughout its military service it served as a training aircraft and was reequipped as a TB-25N in 1954. It was retired from service in 1958. In 1960 it was sold as surplus for $2000 and converted to a fire bomber by Sonora Flying Service of Columbia, CA. Purchased again in 1968 the firefighting equipment was removed it was refitted as a B-25J and flew as “Hot Pants” in “Catch 22.”
It flew as “Marvelous Miriam” during the filming of “Hanover Street.” In 1982 it was acquired by the Royal Air Force Museum and now resides in their Bomber Command Hall in Hendon
," Pilot Vern Ohmert & Co-Pilot Bill Baldwin.
A USAF TB-25N trainer retired from service in and sold as surplus in 1958. It was used for crop dusting until 1968. The plane was converted to a B-25J and flew as “Annzas” and an “M&M Enterprises”
transport in “Catch-22.” Purchased by David Tallichet 1972 it was painted as the “Tokyo Express” for use at air shows. Appearing as “Amazing Andrea” in “Hanover Street” it was abandoned in France after filming completed. In 1979 the Musee de l'Air, in Paris took possession and placed the aircraft in storage. It was destroyed in a hanger fire at the museum
"The Sliver Plane
," Pilot Mike Write & Co-Pilot Bill Muzala.
A USAF TB-25N trainer retired from service in 1958, sold for scrap and registered for civilian use in 1960. Used as a fire bomber until it was purchased by David Tallichet in 1975. Converted to a B-25J it flew as “Big Bad Bonnie”
in “Hanover Street.” Flown at various airshows for several years by Jeff Hawke it was abandon in France in 1983 after an engine failure. It returned to the US in 1986 and was placed on Display at March Air Force Base until 1990. It is now in storage awaiting restoration in Chino, CA