Airbase Arizona - Commemorative Air Force

How the B-25J “Maid in the Shade” Got Her Name

The B-25J, built in early 1944 and named in honor of General Billy Mitchell who is recognized as the father of strategic bombing, was used mainly as a low altitude strafe and skip bomber, and was used in America’s first large-scale bombing offensive in the Philippines. The B-25J is most remembered for the Doolittle Raid on Japan where Jimmy Doolittle led 16 B-25s across Japan bombing targets.

The Arizona Commemorative Air Force Museum’s B-25J Bomber “Maid in the Shade” was a 28-year restoration project that began in 1982 when she was donated to the museum. Upon arrival, the B-17 Bomber “Sentimental Journey” was being restored, therefore, volunteers slowly began to dismantle the B-25 Bomber and gradually moved the shell and parts into the new hangar that was built in late 1987.

Unlike the B-17 that was restored outside in the hot Arizona sun, the B-25 began its restoration in the shade hence how she got her name. The B-25 Bomber “Maid in the Shade” is one of 34 B-25Js still flying out of the nearly 10,000 that were produced.

Today, the B-25 “Maid in the Shade” tours the U.S. and into Canada during the summer months on a separate path from the B-17 Bomber “Sentimental Journey.” In the fall and winter months, she can be found at the museum available for tours as well as Living History rides. Visit the “Fly with Us” page for available flight dates and times. To see photos from the Flying Legends of Victory Tour, click here.

To read more about the B25J Bomber and the “Maid in the Shade” restoration, visit our online store to purchase the book.

More about the B25J

Combat History
Based out of Serraggia Airbase, Corsica from Nov 1 – Dec 31, 1944. Assigned to:
57th Bomb Wing
319th Bomb Wing
437th Squadron
Combat missions flown:
13 over Italy
2 over Yugoslavia
SPECS – Combat Configuration:
Medium Bomber – 2 engines – flew in all theaters of WWII.
Range = 1,350 miles

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