Dick Hughes of Paradise Park RV Resort south of Punta Gorda, Fla. flew a B-25, “Mitchell,” twin-engine bomber on 30 combat missions while serving in the 12th Air Force in Europe during World War II. He ended up in a “Mitchell” because a B-24 “Liberator” bomber was too big for him.
Cpl. Willard Irwin was a member of the 64th Fighter Squadron, 57th Fighter Group that provided tactical air support for British Gen. Bernard Montgomery’s 8th Army during the North African Campaign in World War II. They were known as “The Desert Air Force.”
The British tried it, the Canadians tried it and elements of the 5th U.S. Army gave it a shot to no avail. Now it was the American 10th Mountain Division’s turn to take on German Gen. Fridolin von Senger’s entrenched troops in the Apennines Mountains of Italy during the winter of 1944.