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Maintainer of the B-25 visits his old plane

Russel Sharp, prior Air Force crew-chief and flight engineer for the B-25 aircraft, stands near his B-25.

Russel Sharp, prior Air Force crew-chief and flight engineer for the B-25 aircraft, stands near his B-25. This photo was taken by his father-in-law. When he was going through photos with his wife, they found the photo and were surprised at the coincidence. The B-25 aircraft before becoming a display on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas. The planes were flown as trainers at Goodfellow from 1954 up until 1958. (Courtesy photo)

Maintainer of the B-25 visits his old plane

The B-25 aircraft when it actively flew, before becoming a display on Goodfellow Air Force Base. The planes were flown as trainers at Goodfellow from 1954 up until 1958. Sharp maintained and flew on this exact aircraft. (Courtesy photo)

Maintainer of the B-25 visits his old plane

Russel Sharp, prior Air Force crew-chief and flight engineer for B-25 aircraft, visited the B-25 display aircraft during a base tour on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, August 2, 2017. Sharp maintained and flew on the B-25 aircraft on display at the Jacobson Gate. (U.S. Air Force base by Senior Airman Scott Jackson/Released)

Maintainer of the B-25 visits his old plane

Russel Sharp, prior Air Force crew-chief and flight engineer for a B-25 aircraft, talks with Col. Jeffrey Sorrell, 17th Training Wing Vice Commander, during a base tour at the visitor’s center on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, August 2, 2017. Sharp maintained and flew on the B-25 aircraft at the Jacobson Gate. (U.S. Air Force base by Senior Airman Scott Jackson/Released)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --

Russel Sharp, prior Air Force crew-chief and flight engineer, visited the B-25 display aircraft, a plane he flew on more than 900 hours, at the Jacobson Gate Aug. 2.

“I was the maintainer and flight engineer for that plane,” said Sharp.

Sharp heard about the plane on display outside Goodfellow through an old friend that lived in Abilene, Texas

“When my son came to visit me, I asked him to check for me,” said Sharp. “I gave him the tail number, so he looked up and got a picture of it and there it was. I’ve been meaning to visit ever since.”

The history of the plane and why the plane is on display at Goodfellow dates back to the base’s early training days.

“The aircraft is on display here because from ‘54 to ‘59 our pilot training program conducted a multi-engine program and flew B-25s,” said Dr. John Garrett, 17th Training Wing historian. “This specific aircraft was built in 1944 and was converted in 1945 from a bomber to a trainer model. It flew as a trainer until 1959 and its last years were in Dyess [Air Force Base]. This plane was kept downtown in San Angelo and in 1983 Charlie Powell, former wing commander, rescued it from San Angelo. That’s why his name is on the plane.”

Sharp was greeted at the gate by Col. Jeffrey Sorrell, 17th Training Wing vice commander, Garrett and media. They followed him along to the display and he shared photographs of the plane from when he maintained it.

“It’s a lot nicer than I expected to see,” said Sharp. “A lot better than a lot of museums I’ve seen.”