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An industrial miracle took place at the Fairfax Airport, on the shores of the Missouri River, between 1941 and 1945. A massive factory was quickly built and a large modification center was soon added. At its peak, over 24,000 greater Kansas City–area residents were employed by North American Aviation, Inc. Their goal was to build as many twin-engine B-25 Mitchell medium bombers for wartime service as possible. Their success was the construction of an unprecedented 6,608 aircraft. The B-25 Mitchell served with distinction in every theater of World War II, and significant numbers of them were provided to Allied nations. Many B-25s have been preserved, and some of them remain airworthy today. They can be seen on static display or in flight at air shows all across America.
About the Author
John Fredrickson retired as a senior manager of the Boeing Company in 2011 after 36 years of service. He has 21 years combined reserve and active-duty service with the US Air Force and is a Vietnam War veteran. John Roper is an entrepreneur and a licensed pilot with over 4,000 hours of flying time. He is a certified flight instructor, a certified aircraft mechanic, holds multiple degrees in engineering and aviation management, and is the vice president of the National Airline History Museum at the Kansas City Downtown Airport, less a mile from the original Fairfax assembly plant.
Table of Contents
1 North American Aviation, Inc. 9
2 Evolution of the B-25 13
3 History of Fairfax Airport and Plant Construction 25
4 Getting Production Started 33
5 Visitors and Important Events 61
6 Accidents and Incidents 87
7 US Army Air Corps Ferry Command 93
8 Production Hits Stride 105
9 Shutdown and Clearing the Factory 123