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South Carolina Historic Aviation Foundation celebrates fabled B-25’s 75th birthday

Columbia’s fabled B-25C GF-2 is turning 75, and the South Carolina Historic Aviation Foundation (SCHAF) is celebrating with an Oct. 14 Open House and celebration. Second Saturdays are regular Open House days for SCHAF – 10 am to 1 pm.

According to SCHAF education vice president Ron Shelton, “Our rare artifact came off the assembly line in Inglewood, CA, 75 years ago, had a brief stopover in Kansas City, KS, to take on some military additions, then arrived in Columbia.”

Shelton, who served as science curator as the South Carolina State Museum for several decades, said B-25s were sent to bases throughout the US, and some directly into theaters of war, but Columbia Army Air Base (CAAB) received more than any other base.

“From CAAB, this plane was then assigned to Greenville, and had left Greenville Army Air Base the morning of D-Day, 1944, when the training accident occurred that sent it to the bottom of Lake Greenwood where it stayed for 39 years,” Shelton said.

The legend of that ditching, and the plane’s 1983 recovery, will be among the stories re-told during the birthday celebration.

The event will highlight the involvement of the late Col. Dan Rossman who was in the cockpit June 6, 1944, when the low flying
Mitchell bomber’s propellers touched the surface of Lake Greenwood waters, leading to the often-recounted accident.

“It is unique, a real rarity, for a plane involved in an accident to be reunited with its pilot many years later,” Shelton said. “Dan
Rossman made countless trips to Columbia, over several decades, to reconnect with the plane and to actively support its preservation.”

From Rossman’s first flight in the aircraft to his final trip to Columbia to see the latest progress of its preservation, the former GE engineer was involved for more than 70 years.

“And the citizens of South Carolina have had 75 years of involvement with this plane,” Shelton noted.

Ron Skipper said another highlight of the anniversary event will be a status report on the plane’s restoration. “Volunteers working on the plane have completed the cockpit, and we will be talking up our next goal for the restoration,” Skipper said. The Richland County Conservation Commission has provided significant support for the project.

The Open House and 75th birthday observance will take place at Hamilton-Owens Airport. For more information, visit: schistoricaviation.org.

South Carolina Historic Aviation volunteers who have restored the cockpit of the rare Mitchell B-25, and now
are starting to work on the bomb bay are: Ron Skipper, left, in window; Lucien Lapierre, Katherine Cuddy, and
Niall McLaughlin. Standing: John Chamberlain and David Moxley. Absent when picture made: Joe McDonagh
and Edwin Scott.


Chris Gillam is holding the sign.


Doolittle Raiders and Columbia Army Air Base

Midlands 75th Anniversary Commemorations

February 11 -  South Carolina Historic Aviation Foundation (SCHAF) will host Martin Crouch.

February 25 - First of series of Lake Murray History cruises to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the aviation training over Lake Murray and the Doolittle Raid.

March 29 - 9:45 am, Richard Peterson will present at the Golden Kiwanis (Lourie Center) --Lake Murray/Doolittle history.

March 31 - Columbia Metro Airport 10 am – tour of “Columbia Army Air Base”  -- 11 am – Richard Peterson presentation  --Lake Murray/Doolittle history  --SCHAF Doolittle display, 11am  --tour of “Columbia Army Air Base”

April 6 - 7:30 am  Crooked Creek Park. Rotary Club --Richard Peterson  --Lake Murray and Doolittle History    -- 11 am the Senior Lunch Bunch will have a presentation by Rachel Haynie who will speak about her books: “Stalled,” a novel that begins with the ditching of the Lake Murray B-25, and “Cornfield to Airfield: A History of Columbia Army Air Base.” Randall Shealy, a revered local historian, will discuss Lake Murray history.  SCHAF will have a Doolittle display. 

April 8 - SCHAF Open House   (10 am to 1 pm) --will commemorate the Doolittle Raiders and founding of Columbia Army Air Base.

April 8 - History Day at the South Carolina State Museum (SCSM.) Ron Shelton, SCHAF Board Member and SCSM science curator emeritus will greet visitors at 12:30 pm at the USS Hornet/Doolittle exhibit. 

April 18 - Lourie Center 1940s/Doolittle dance and concert with music by the Capital City Big Band, directed by Dick Goodwin. $10 tickets will be available.  WWII exhibits.
Click here to view more: >

June 2 -  James Scott, the author of “Target Tokyo,” will speak during the SC Confederate Relic Room and History Museum’s Lunch and Learn series.
More info and full story at this web site:

Click here to view more: >

Doolittle Crew of aircraft number 10 included Lt. Horace Crouch (left) of Columbia, SC.

Click here to view related News Story>

Contact - Richard Peterson        

Contact - Rachel Haynie


Hangar Dinner/Dance

On the evening of October 15 SCHAF will conduct a WW2 Era USO style Hangar Dinner/Dance(Luau Theme) at Hamilton-Owens Airport.

Other historic aviation activity including rides on vintage aircraft will occur during October 14 - 16.

See poster/announcements below:





Tuskegee Airmen will be remembered and honored at the July 2016 SCHAF Open House

The regularly scheduled SCHAF monthly Open House (always 2nd Saturday morning of each month) on July 9 (10 am to 1pm) will be in honor of the Tuskegee Airmen. Special guests at the event will be members of the Spann Watson Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen organization. Several members will share thoughts regarding the history of the Tuskegee Airmen and of the organization. During WWII several sites in South Carolina played a major role in the training operation of the Tuskegees.

Members of the Chapter will also have a cookout at the event (12 noon for the cookout).

More information will be available on the South Carolina Historic Aviation Foundation Facebook Page closer to the event.

The open house is at the SCHAF hangar(Y-1) at the Hamilton-Owens Airport in Columbia, SC


At the SCHAF open house on Saturday, February 13, 2016

We plan to have members of the family of Horace “Sally” Crouch, who was one of the Doolittle Raiders in 1942. We plan to commemorate the formation of the raiders which took place in February 1942 at Columbia Army Air Base (now Columbia Metro). Jimmy Doolittle came to new Columbia Army Air Base and met with members of the 17th Bomb Group that had set up combat training at the new base with the country's first B-25 Bomber airplanes. At that time 25 crews volunteered and were selected to begin training for flying loaded B-25 Bombers off the deck of an aircraft carrier. Following their mission in April of 1942 they became known as the Doolittle Raiders. At this time only 3 of the original 80 Doolittle Raiders are still living. Columbia Army Air Base went on (1941-1946) to be the largest B-25 combat training base in the Country.

Also see the ongoing restoration work on our B-25 Bomber.

Open House will be at the SCHAF Hangar(Y-1) at Hamilton-Owens Airport from 10am to 1pm.


Curtiss-Wright Hangar news recently posted on Facebook   --October 12, 2015

Curtiss-Wright Hangar News! Richland County Council gave unanimous third (and final) reading approval in their special called meeting of October 12th for an ordinance to sell the Curtiss-Wright Hangar to the Hangar Preservation Development, LLC. The conditions of the sale include a requirement to restore the hangar in conformance with State Historic Preservation Office / National Park Service standards within 18 months of the sale. We're very excited about the prospect of getting an accurate and quality restoration of the hangar!


On Saturday October 24 SCHAF will host a Hangar Dinner/Dance in Remembrance of the 70th Anniversary of the End of WWII.  

Please come and help us honor our Veterans. Other activities will be happening earlier the same day including the Earl Yerrick Static Aircraft Display to benefit Kamp Kemo and rides will be available on the EAA Vintage Ford Trimotor aircraft.
The Hangar Dinner/Dance is postponed until further notice but the other daytime events noted there will still proceed at Hamilton-Owens Airport.  


Tribute to Col. Dan Rossman and B-25C GF-2 and the D-Day event of 6 June 1944



SCHAF April Open House

The monthly open house at the SCHAF Hangar will take place on Saturday April 18 from 10 am to 1 pm.  On this occasion we will be remembering the Doolittle Raiders on the anniversary of the Doolittle Raid.  We will also have a WWII parachute demonstration. SCHAF will also be participating in the Eagle Aviation Hawks and Hawgs event which occurs from 9am to 1pm.

The week of April 15, 2015 the US Congress will award the Doolittle Raiders the Congressional Gold Medal. There will be a ceremony commemorating this occasion at the USAF Museum in Dayton on Saturday, April 18 with the two remaining Raiders present for the occasion.

At the SCHAF remembrance, Martin and Lynn Crouch, son of Raider Col. Horace Crouch, will be present to speak about the occasion of the Doolittle Raid Anniversary, reflect about the life and career of Col Crouch and the award of the Congressional Gold Medal.

Now, only David Thatcher(Rt) and Richard Cole(Ctr) remain.  This picture was from 2013 when Edward Saylor was living.


SCHAF March Open House to Observe Women’s History Month

The South Carolina Historic Aviation Foundation (SCHAF) is observing Women’s History Month by hosting a visit from the first African American female in the history of the National Guard to be promoted to general office. Aiken native Dr. Irene Trowell-Harris retired as a Major General in the Air National Guard. She later served as Director of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Center for Women Veterans. She will be at Hamilton-Owens Airport Saturday, March 14 at noon during SCHAF’s regularly-scheduled monthly open house to “inspect” the vintage B-25 bomber the aviation foundation currently is restoring to display standards. She will receive a special greeting from members of the Spann Watson Chapter, Tuskegee Airman. A Tuskegee Airman chapter located in Upstate New York is named for Trowell-Harris. She presently lives and works in Washington DC.

In addition that weekend Bill Rouw with the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum will be in town to assist SCHAF volunteers with the restoration of GF-2.  Bill is the crew chief for the CWHM’s airworthy B-25 and in recent months has provided a wealth of knowledge and assistance to SCHAF.  Anyone who would like come by and learn how they can help in the restoration is welcome.  Volunteers are always needed. Plans are to work on GF-2 that weekend. 

Also present that morning will be Brigadier General Darlene Goff, Director of Joint Staff for the South Carolina National Guard.  General Goff is the SC National Guard’s first female to achieve the rank of General.

And because it’s Women’s History Month we will have ladies dressed as “Rosie the Riveter.”  They will be on hand to talk about the important contribution of women in helping win World War II and defending our freedoms.  

Also there will be a trailer sized realistic flight simulator for young people and other guests to experience.  Word is that the simulator is out of this world.

This is shaping up to be one the best SCHAF open houses ever and we would love to have a good turnout from the membership.  Tell your friends and bring them along and introduce them to the exciting world of aviation history.  Again, that’s Saturday, March 14, 2015 from 10am-1pm at Hangar Y-1 at Hamilton-Owens Airport. Hope to see you there.

Brigadier General Dr. Irene Trowell-Harris, Aiken Native


Grant Award Announcement

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.


SCHAF's B-25C GF-2 recently displayed at Hamilton-Owens Airport.



D-Day 70th Anniversary Remembance (June 7, 2014)

> see more


This week (6/23/14) we lost Col. Dan Rossman, a very Dear Friend and a very special WWII Veteran -- the one most closely associated with our B-25 airplane.

He and some of his family visited the SCHAF Hangar in May this year and this is our very last picture of him.



> Click for news article - (In Memory of Daniel Rossman September 29, 1923 - June 23, 2014)


SCHAF Participates in Doolittle Final Toast

> see more


Veteran airmen meet future aviators at Hamilton Owens Airport

> see more


South Carolina Historic Aviation Foundation

Open House -- visit the B-25 Bomber at the Curtiss Wright Hangar - 2nd Saturday Each Month 11am - 3pm



South Carolina and the country loses an aviation hero and lifetime member of the aviation community:

Dolphin Overton III  1927 - 2013 > see more


SCHAF will have displays and information at these upcoming events:

The Sparkleberry Country Fair, April 27, 2013 > see more

Armies Through Time at Camden, May 3-4, 2013 > see more


SCHAF news stories and activities, Fall 2012

Rare WWII-era bomber could join state’s collection
> see more

> see more

Betty's Dream B-25 at The 70th reunion of the 345th Bomb group
> see more


SCHAF will participate in the 70th anniversary reunion of the 345th Bomb Group which was founded at Columbia Army Air base

> see more

> see more


Several SCHAF members and some others assisted Rachel Haynie and Ron Shelton in developing a special exhibit which is featured in the concourse at Columbia Metropolitan Airport.

The exhibit features the 70th anniversary of the founding of Columbia Army Air Base and the Doolittle Raiders.

Lake Murray resident Ed “Jib” Colie(Lft) and Lake Murray businessman Martin Crouch visit a new exhibit, on view at Columbia Metropolitan Airport,
commemorating the 70th anniversary of the opening of former Columbia Army Air Base (CAAB) and also the storied Doolittle Raid. Each contributed items for the display. Crouch’s father, the late Horace “Sally” Crouch, was the only Columbian who flew on the daring mission that gave America a much-needed morale boost early in WWII. Bob Bartlett(Rt) of Irmo also contributed items for the exhibit.

> see more


Announcement of an August 25 Symposium to reflect on the life and times of Paul R. Redfern, Columbia's first commercial aviator and airport founder --on the occasion of the 85th anniversary of his most notorious and final flight.
Please share with others:

> see more


SCHAF's recent Memorial Day article remembering Doolittle Raider Bill Farrow was read in Congress and entered intothe Congressional Record by SC Representative Joe Wilson.

> see more


Memorial Day remembrance of a local Doolittle Raider/Local Flyer

> see more


Letter of support from Lt Gov. Glenn McConnell - May 2012

> see more


SCAA Palmetto Aviation Newsletter - Spring 2012

Please notice the article on Aviation History on page 6 and the references to SC Aviation Week (August 13-17) on pages 4-5

> see more


Earl Yerrick Static Aviation DisplayDate - April 21, 2012

SCHAF will participate in the First Annual Earl Yerrick Static Aviation Display and Open House at Hamilton-Owens Airport on April 21. SCHAF will be remembering and honoring the Doolittle Raiders on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of their historic mission in WWII.

> see more



SCHAF announces a newly pubished Columbia Army Air Base book

Cornfield to Airfield: A History of Columbia Army Air Base, released December 7, 2011 by Rachel Haynie, commemorates the 70th anniversary of the base’s opening – hours after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. The 154-page book is illustrated with more than 100 previously-unpublished images, primarily by WWII photographer William A. Hamson who served on the base during the war years. Blending military facts on record with stories from neighbors whose farmland was bulldozed for taxiways, this history begins with the War department’s decision to develop a country-wide grid of airstrips in strategic places. A pivotal point in base history is the arrival of Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle to recruit crews who would become the Doolittle Raiders. Since the war the former air base has been in use as Columbia Metropolitan Airport. 
More info at:   info.historycaab@gmail.com


Cub Scouts visiting SCHAF 's B-25C Mitchell Bomber 12/12/2011


Events Mark 70th Anniversary of Columbia Army Air Base

To mark the 70th anniversary of Columbia Army Air Base (CAAB), now Columbia Metropolitan Airport, the Local History Room, Main Branch of the Richland County Public Library (RCPL), will host a Literary Salute to local authors of WWII titles at 3 p.m., November 30.

Nearly ready for utilization just days before the Imperial Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, the Lexington County Airport was quickly taken over by the federal government for military use and, a few months later, was renamed CAAB.

During the Wednesday afternoon program, which is free to the public, Station WPUB News Director Dave McIntosh will introduce local authors of WWII titles, briefly highlighting each book.

The authors will be introduced in order of their copyrights dates. 1993 - Dr. John Hammond Moore’s Columbia and Richland County, a South Carolina Community; 1740-1990; 2000 – Moffatt Burriss’ Strike and Hold: A Memoir of the 82nd Airborne in WWII; 2001, Jack Kneece’s Ghost Army; 2003 – Rebecca Pepin’s Honoring South Carolina’s WWII Heroes of Flight; 2009 Russell Gimmi’s Airman: The Life of Richard F. B. Gimmi; 2010 James J. Lynch’s One Mo’ Time, featuring Russ Meyne; and 2011 – Tom Fincher’s No Ordinary Lives: The Lives and Times of Chapin area WWII Veterans.

Also, to launch at the event will be Cornfield to Airfield: A History of Columbia Army Air Base, new from Rachel Haynie, liberally illustrated with vintage photographs taken by West Columbian William Hamson, stationed at CAAB during WWII.

This observance will include an exhibit to remain on view in the Local History Room, Third Floor, Main Branch, RCPL through early 2012.

The Literary Salute will be a prequel to a larger public event commemorating CAAB’s 70th anniversary. On Saturday, Dec. 3, the South Carolina Historic Aviation Foundation will host an observance and remembrance from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the S.C. Aeronautics Hangar adjacent to Columbia Metropolitan Airport.

The family day will afford local residents who served on the airbase as both military and civilian workers an opportunity for an informal reunion. Set up throughout the hangar there will be displays of artifacts, vintage vehicles, and WWII model airplanes. The occasion also will honor the memories of more than 200 airmen who perished in training operations while attached to CAAB.

For more information, go to schistoricaviation.org or call 803-731-3254.


SCHAF NEWS - December 7 ,2010

The Irmo fire department asked Larry Russell if they could come by and take pictures of the plane.  I happened to be there when they came by. The Captain wrote a nice note below and attached a few pics.

Mr. Foster,

I wanted to write and say thank you to you and Larry Russell from the Celebrate Freedom Foundation for recently allowing us to have our firetruck’s picture made with “Skunkie”.  Below you will find information on our station patch and our interest in B-25’s.  We are taking this idea and adding the B-25 theme around our fire station.  We have even re-created some B-25 nose art which we have hanging in our truck bay.  I have attached a couple of photos of these.  We are excited about the future of “Skunkie” and it staying in this area.  Please let me know if there is anything we can do to assist or promote this cause.  Thanks again,

Capt. Ben Smith
Irmo Fire District

The goal for our station patch was to find something that helped to define us and our protection area.  We wanted something that was not only significant to our district and Lake Murray’s history, but also was respectful and had meaning.  Finally in 2009 after years of debate, a member presented a design that not only met these goals, but exceeded them.  The B-25C that was recovered from Lake Murray in 2005 was chosen to signify the historical significance to the area.  The B-25C on our patch has the following markings:  The “IFD” stands for The Irmo Fire District, the “C-9” represents the nine firefighters who died in the line of duty on June 18, 2007 in Charleston, South Carolina. The “343” is for the FDNY firefighters who lost their lives on 9/11, and “Joe” is for Joe Castro, one of our firefighters who died on April 2, 2007.  Each of these of course, holds a special meaning to us.  Also included in the patch are the towers located near the dam in Lake Murray and also the crescent moon and palmetto tree that is on the South Carolina State Flag.


E-2 is pictured here with “Skunkie” a B-25C, registration sequence 41-13285.  It was recovered from Lake Greenwood, SC, in 1983. It has recently been purchased by the S.C. Historic Aviation Foundation.



Irmo Fire District


SCHAF NEWS - November 5, 2010

SCHAF board member Gary Byrd invited to address the
Optimist Club Of St. Andrews.

The bomber was recovered from Lake Greenwood. You missed an interesting bit of trivia as to the events that led the bomber to end up in the lake. Gary ’s presentation was a reminder of the contribution that Columbia SC made to the war effort serving as the training base for the Doolittle Raiders.

James D. "Dan" Parler, President

Optimist Club of St. Andrews
Post Office Box 1692
Irmo, South Carolina 29063-1692









Celebrating 40 years of Optimism and
service to area you

Gary is an avid WWII Aviation and War Between the States Collector and Historian. He is a founding member of the 20th SC Volunteers, and the Palmetto Battalion; he serves both living history groups as an officer. Both groups have worked from the South Carolina State Museum, the U.S. National Parks Service, and the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, among other organizations. He is a member of the Warbirds Living History Group of EAA Warbirds of America, as well as the Airmen’s Preservation Society.

Gary is the Treasurer and Vice President of media relations for the South Carolina Historic Aviation Foundation.