The Richland County Conservation Commission has awarded a preservation grant to the South Carolina Historic Aviation Foundation (SCHAF). SCHAF is the present caretaker of the WWII B-25 Bomber airplane which was recovered from Lake Greenwood in 1983. The B-25C Mitchell Bomber is a rare model and the only known airplane left in the state that was a part of the WW II Columbia Army Air Base fleet. The immediate goal is to progress with the process of stabilizing the interior or the aircraft and doing more upgrade in preparing the airplane for museum and educational display.
A longer term goal of SCHAF is to preserve this aircraft and others for display in a future Aviation Museum (SC Aerospace History and Education Center). SCHAF is also supporting the efforts to preserve the historic 1929 Curtiss-Wright Hangar at Hamilton-Owens Airport which one day may serve as an Aviation Museum and event space.
SCHAF is inventorying, cleaning, and assessing the components and condition of the B-25C to fashion a restoration plan. The project will rely mostly on volunteers with the supervision of certificated aircraft technicians and will last for 10 months.
Specifically, the present project involves the preservation of and restoration of the B-25C’s cockpit/Flight Deck, instrumentation and bombardier’s compartment, as well as the reproduction and installation of the bomber’s simulated gun armament. The preservation of this rare and unique Midlands B-25C Mitchell Bomber will inspire others to restore their historic resources and help generate economic development of the education, entertainment and aerospace industry.
More volunteers are encouraged and welcome.