The South Carolina Historic Aviation Foundation (SCHAF) has been formed to preserve this state’s valuable contributions to aviation - from its very beginnings.
So far, the compelling roles South Carolinians have played in aviation remain virtually untold, although involvement in both military and civilian flying began with the barnstorming years following WWI; continued on to the very early speed, distance and endurance competitions, airplane racing, as well as other facets of the aerospace industry.
SCHAF already is collecting important pieces of that on-going story, beginning with its purchase of a very rare B-25C Mitchell medium bomber, one of only a few known C models still in existence.
Delivered directly from the North American Aviation assembly plant in Inglewood, California, the plane was used as an advanced trainer at Columbia Army Air Base, WWII’s largest B-25 training center.
Nearly its entire service life was spent in South Carolina, including 39 years at the bottom of Lake Greenwood. Ironically, the unfortunate training accident that required the plane to be ditched into the lake also saved it. Other B-25s from that fleet disappeared from the aviation landscape. This one, recovered from the lake bottom in 1983, at long last is slated to become the focal point of this foundation.
SCHAF has made one of its ultimate goals the preservation and restoration of the B-25 Bomber and the creation of a history and education center where the state’s vital contributions to aviation – including aerospace – can be shared publicly.
With South Carolinians’ encouragement and support from individual and corporate partnerships, SCHAF believes the B-25 can be restored to become an ambassador for South Carolina’s rich aviation heritage.