North American Aviation - Kansas (Fairfax District)

North American Aviattion - Kansas (Fairfax District)


NAA-K Bomber Builders Reunion
Wyandotte County Museum
631 N. 126th St. - Bonner Springs, Kansas
Sunday - August 21, 2005
1:00 to 5:00 p.m.
(In Wyandotte County park at 126th & State Ave.)

For former employees of the North American Aviation plant in Kansas City, Kansas during WWII and others interested in the B-25 aircraft.

Article from the NAA-K B-25 Newsletter:  "DOOLITTLE'S INSTRUMENTAL WWII B-25 BomberBREAKTHROUGH" - In the very early days of aviation when flying was very risky except when the weather was clear, 'Jimmy' Doolittle wanted to fly in all kinds of weather conditions.  He thought about and considered how to fly in cloudy, rainy or foggy weather and he also thought about flying at night.  This brought him to testing navigational instruments including a highly accurate altimeter and a directional gyro, which replaces the often-inefficient compass.  Doolittle also tested an artificial horizon.  All these instruments were added to an audible radio signal that indicated the end of the runway.  After the experimenting and testing, he climbed into the rear cockpit of a biplane on September 24, 1929 and he sealed himself under a canvas hood that gave the sensation and feel of darkness, fog, etc.  Using only instruments, Doolittle flew a 15-mile loop before picking up the radio beacon and 'descended to the runway in a perfect landing.  It was the first flight-takeoff, cruising and landing by reference to the instruments alone.  Airliners almost immediately adopted the same techniques for instrument flying.

HARRY and ALICE DESKO - The Deskos have been busy preserving the story and history of NAA-K and the B-25 Mitchell Bomber.  They have done verbal and visual presentations with their photo display and their B-25 model (with its six foot wingspan) at the KCKs Community College for a history class; for the Leavenworth Road Assn. Meeting; the annual NAA-K B-25 Bomber Builders reunion; for the Butler Mfg. Co. Retirees; and classes at the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri.  They are the publishers and editors of the NAA-K B-25 Newsletter. 

NAA-K B-25 Newsletter
3024 N. 47th Street
Kansas City, KS 66104-2442
(913) 287-7223

B-25 Bomber Production at the Fairfax Bomber Plant (Kansas City, Kansas)

The picture directly below is from a photocopy of a picture.  We hope the quality will be good enough for you to get a clear picture.
First B-25D-1 from NAA Kansas Plant
The first B-25D-1 from NAA Kansas Plant
Completed Dec. 23, 1941
First Flight Jan 3., 1942 - Pilot: Paul Balfour
(N. L. Avery Collection)

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Between December 1941, and August 1945, over 50,000 employees built 6,608 B-25 bombers in the Fairfax District. The B-25 Mitchell, the only military aircraft named for a person (General William "Billy" Mitchell), gained world-wide notoriety when 16 B-25s were launched from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet on a secret raid over Tokyo and other Japanese cities on April 18, 1942. The mission, though of limited military value, proved a big morale boost for the U.S.A. 

Though the 80 fliers who took part in the raid on Tokyo were among the nation's first World War II heroes, the planes they flew were just as popular. The B-25 Mitchell medium bomber, built by North American Aviation, flew in every theater of the war and was as potent as it was versatile. Nearly 10,000 B-25s were built between 1939 and 1945, with the majority of them rolling out of North American's Fairfax plant in Kansas City, Kansas. Between December 1941 and August 1945, more than 50,000 employees built 6,608 B-25 bombers at the Fairfax plant, making it one of the region's main contributors to the war effort. According to this KMBC public service announcement from July 1944, the Fairfax plant needs more workers to help build B-25 bombers. After the war, plant became GM's Buick-Oldsmobile assembly plant.

North American Aviation - It's History

Fairfax School - Families with North American Aviation

The Big Four in Kansas (KCPTv)

Kansas City - Dec 14, 1942

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Wyandotte County, Kansas GenWeb

Blue Skyways


Page Last Updated: 08-Jul-2005