Glory Days

In March 1945, B-29 No. 44-69972, now known as “Doc,” was delivered to the U.S. Army Air Corps. About five months later another B-29 was used to drop two atomic bombs on Japan, eventually leading to Japan’s surrender and the end of World War II.

In July 1951, Doc was assigned to radar calibration duty, along with a few other B-29s. The squadron was known as the “Seven Dwarfs.” In May 1955, Doc was assigned to target-towing duty and one year later, Doc and the rest of its squadron became targets for bomb training at China Lake, California.

Back in Action

On July 17, 2016, after 16 years of restoration, B-29 Doc roared back to flight. Since then, Doc has traveled to numerous air shows and is now serving out its mission as a flying tribute to the men and women who designed, built, maintained and served in the B-29 Superfortress to protect freedom.

Wichita’s unique aviation history and one-of-a-kind workforce made it possible to rebuild and restore Doc. Retired aviation workers and countless other volunteers spent more than 350,000 hours working to bring Doc back to life. The B-29 was an airplane before its time. It was a high altitude, long range bomber that pushed the limits of science.

Off Duty

For 42 years, Doc sat in the Mojave Desert serving as a target for the U.S. Navy. In 1987, Tony Mazzolini found Doc and began plans to remove and eventually restore the B-29 warbird to flying status. It would take another 12 years before Mazzolini and his team would be able to take possession of the airplane from the U.S. government.

After arranging for an inspection by an expert on aging Boeing aircraft, Mazzolini realized it would take extensive resources and specific expertise to return Doc to flying condition. So the B-29 returned to Wichita in sections on flatbed trailers in May 2000.

Volunteers began the process of reassembling Doc and drew up plans to restore the historic warbird which was now sitting a few hundred feet from where it first rolled off the Boeing-Wichita assembly line some 50+ years before. Dedicated volunteers spent countless hours in the early stages of restoring the historic plane.

In February 2013, a group of Wichita aviation enthusiasts & business leaders led by retired Spirit AeroSystems CEO Jeff Turner formed Doc’s Friends, a 501c3 non-profit board to manage the restoration project and help see it through to completion.

Doc’s Friends

Formed in 2013, Doc’s Friends is a 501c3 non-profit board managing the operation of Doc, the Boeing B-29 Superfortress. The group opened the B-29 Doc Hangar and Education Center in January of 2019 to educate generations to come about the B-29’s special place in our nation’s history. The 39,000 sq. ft. facility is located in Wichita, Kan., and serves as an active maintenance facility for B-29 Doc, while also offering tours, STEM presentations, and history lessons. The Pull a Plane fundraiser will support Doc’s operations and educational exhibits. Find more event information and get signed up to Pull a Plane for education!

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