B25 – Rosie’s Reply

Coming to Bloomington-Normal area Friday October 8th – Saturday October 9th.

B25 – Rosie’s Reply

Central Illinois Regional Airport (CIRA)
Synergy Hanger east of Prairie Aviation Museum at 2929 E. Empire Street
Bloomington, Il

Volunteers supporting this Special Event are provided by Prairie Aviation Museum, EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) and Crosswinds Flying Club. 

Yankee Air Museum, Belleville Michigan, will be visiting the Bloomington-Normal area from October 8th – 9th with a fly-in of their B25 – Rosie’s Reply. 

Rosie’s Reply will be on display for photo shoots throughout the visit.

Rides are available October 8th (4,5,6 pm) and October 9th (11am, Noon, 1pm).

Order tickets online at  (www.yankeeairmuseum.org/fly)
or at the check in table in the Synergy hangar East of the Prairie Aviation Museum. 

Rosie’s Reply can carry a maximum six passengers.  $425.00 per person/25 minute experience.

TSA and CIRA Requirements

In order to view and photograph the B25 – Rosie’s Reply, all visitors are required to wear a purchased wristband while on the tarmac and inside the Synergy hanger.

In order to accommodate the purchase of the wristband, Prairie Aviation Museum will be selling the wristbands at our normal admission price to include access to the Museum displays, to the Airpark displays and to Rosie’s Reply displayed on the tarmac and/or Synergy hanger.  

Adults (12 and older) – $5.00
Children (6 to 11 years of age) –  $3.00
Children (5 and under)  – Free
Museum members and Active military – Free

Prairie Aviation Museum's Extended Hours During Rosie's Reply Visit

Friday October 8th

Museum:  3:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Airpark:  3:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Regular Admission Fees apply.

Saturday October 9th

Museum:  10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Airpark: 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Regular Admission Fees apply.

Many cockpits will be opened for closer inspection.

WW II Reenactors  led by Mark McBride

Sunday October 10th

Museum:  11:00 am – 3:00 pm

Airpark: 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

Regular Admission Fees apply.

History of Rosie’s Reply

The B-25D Rosie’s Reply (formerly known as Yankee Warrior) is owned and operated by the Yankee Air Museum, at historic Willow Run Airport.

North American Aviation built this B-25D (serial no. 43-3634) at its Kansas City, Kansas plant on December 8, 1943.  The U.S. Army Air Forces received the plane on December 17, 1943.  This aircraft flew in the 12th Air Force, part of the 57th Bomb Wing, 340th Bombardment Group in the 489th Bomb Squadron.  This B-25D saw combat in World War II and is one of only two B-25Ds still flying. Mission logs reveal this plane flew eight combat missions out of Corsica under the care of Ezra Baer, Crew Chief.  Crew rosters list a number of aircrews operated the plane in those missions, striking high value rail lines and shipping in Italy. 

B-25D 43-3634 was repainted in December 2020 according to North American Aviation specifications for this aircraft in 1943.  This livery honors the aviators who flew B-25s in the 489th Bomb Squadron in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations.  In March 2021, the B-25 was christened “Rosie’s Reply” to additionally honor the thousands of women, collectively known as Rosie the Riveter, who built aircraft and other munitions in response to the threat that arose in World War Two.  

The B-25 is the same type of bomber delivering the first strike back at Japan on April 18, 1942 flown by the legendary Gen. Jimmy Doolittle and his raiders.  This daring mission was thought to be “one-way” as the 16 B-25s launched from the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Hornet with insufficient fuel to return or land on an air base in China.  The “Doolittle Raiders” succeeded.  Fifteen, B-25s reached China but crash-landed and one landed in Russia.  Seventy-seven of the eighty, all volunteer, crewmembers survived.

The prototype B-25 first flew in 1939.  A total 9,818 were built, of which 3,915 were “C” or “D” models.  The B-25 is the only American military aircraft named after a specific person, General Billy Mitchell.

Yankee Air Museum acquired the B-25D Mitchell in 1987 and after restoration; it flew again in 2003 as Yankee Warrior.  Rosie’ Reply now honors both the men who flew it and the women who built it.