Panchito: a big B-25 hit in New Orleans.[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]
* One of the 86th National Convention's "biggest" visitors was the B-25 bomber Panchito.
Having just wrapped up the first half of the 2007 season of the DAV See WebDAV. Airshow Outreach Program, the famed warbird was flown from Oshkosh, Wisc., to the Lakefront Airport in New Orleans New Orleans (ôr`lēənz –lənz, ôrlēnz`), city (2006 pop. 187,525), coextensive with Orleans parish, SE La., between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain, 107 mi (172 km) by water from the river mouth; founded . From there, Panchito--all 30,000 pounds of her--was loaded by crane on ton derrick barge and taken through the Intracoastal Waterway Intracoastal Waterway, c.3,000 mi (4,827 km) long, partly natural, partly artificial, providing sheltered passage for commercial and leisure boats along the U.S. Atlantic coast from Boston, Mass. to Key West, S Fla. to the Mississippi River Mississippi River
River, central U.S. It rises at Lake Itasca in Minnesota and flows south, meeting its major tributaries, the Missouri and the Ohio rivers, about halfway along its journey to the Gulf of Mexico. . From there, the historic warbird traveled upriver and was unloaded on the Canal Street Warf, near an area known as Spanish Plaza.
Panchito was officially unveiled at a special ceremony the evening before the convention's opening session. Hosted by National Adjutant ADJUTANT. A military officer, attached to every battalion of a regiment. It is his duty to superintend, under his superiors, all matters relating to the ordinary routine of discipline in the regiment. Arthur H. Wilson and National Commander Bradley S. Barton, the ceremony was attended by hundreds of DAV delegates and convention guests along with New Orleans residents.
The ceremony was highlighted by a few acoustic guitar songs from country music artist Aaron Tippen and a dramatic fly-over by a pair of F-15 Eagles from the Louisiana Air National Guard.
Tippen, an avid pilot and veterans advocate, made the entire trip from Wisconsin to New Orleans with Panchito. A documentary film about Panchito's journey to New Orleans is now in production.