B-17G 44-85813 Champaign Lady

Champaign Lady (CAM Urbana 05-16-18) 0311

Just a few pics of the B-17G 44-85813 Champaign Lady from my personal archives documenting the B-17s I have had the good fortune to see in person. This project is being built in the hangar of the Champaign Air Museum at Grimes Field in Urbana, Ohio. The team has been using parts from multiple aircraft predominantly as templates for fabricating new parts. During the 401st BG’s reunion in 2018 I had a chance to talk with a few or the volunteers who are bringing this project to life and learned quite a bit about the internals of the wing box. Leader Randy Kemp talked about how the top turret was donated by a lady that had it buried under her porch. As a tribute to her generosity, the crew has painted “Beverly” on the turret.

The crew estimates it will be another 12 years of hard work before Champaign Lady is ready to join their B-25 Champaign Gal in flights from Grimes Field.

Triangle S and the yellow slash indicate the 401st BG that flew out of Deenethorpe during WWII. My brother-in-law Charlie’s grandfather flew as flight engineer/top turret gunner in IY-Q Duke’s Mixture with the 615th squadron.

B-17G 44-85813 Champaign Lady; Grimes Field, 2018