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Panchito: a big B-25 hit in New Orleans.


* 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 Airshow Outreach Program, the famed warbird was flown from Oshkosh, Wisc., to the Lakefront Airport in New Orleans. From there, Panchito--all 30,000 pounds of her--was loaded by crane on ton derrick barge and taken through the Intracoastal Waterway to the Mississippi River. 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 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.

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Publication:DAV Magazine
Date:Sep 1, 2007
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