– By

On April 17, the SDASM will be conducting the "Raid Across South Dakota" to commemorate South Dakota's contribution to the famous Doolittle Raid of April 18, 1942!

We'll be flying an authentic WWII B-25 bomber from Sioux Falls to Mitchell to Pierre to Rapid City and onto Ellsworth AFB where it will take part in a base event commemorating the 77th anniversary of the Raid.

Educators and History Buffs alike are encouraged to experience The Raid Across South Dakota at the following (times subject to change):

April 16, from 4pm-5pm at Maverick Air Center, Sioux Falls
April 17 from 8am-9am at Wright Brothers Aviation, Mitchell
April 17 from 11am-Noon at The Pierre Regional Airport, Pierre
April 17 from 1:30pm-3:30pm at L&D Aero Services, Rapid City Regional Airport (click for google map of L&D Aero Services)

There'll be an excellent educational handout featuring award-winning history writer Barrett Tillman, model B-25s to build and other special surprises.

For more information contact:  John Mollison, SDASM Communications Director, 605.261.6070

PRESS INFORMATION BELOW (updated as needed)


WWII B-25 to visit South Dakota airports supporting the state's involvement in the legendary "Doolittle Raid" of 1942

(Box Elder, SD) —  The South Dakota Air & Space Museum announces the “Raid Across South Dakota,” an event designed to bring awareness to the famous “Doolittle Raid” of April 18, 1942 and the two South Dakotans who participated.

The Raid Across South Dakota will entail flying an authentic WWII bomber— the kind that took part in the historic moment—across the state, making educational stops along the way.  Beginning in Sioux Falls late afternoon on April 16, the bomber will make scheduled stops on April 17 in Mitchell, Pierre and Rapid City, after which the bomber will fly to Ellsworth AFB and take part in the base’s April 18 celebration of the Raid’s 77th anniversary.  Though the Ellsworth event is closed to the general public, the airport stops will provide residents, especially students, an opportunity learn about the Doolittle Raid, the airplane and its tie to South Dakota.

Though the public is welcome to see the bomber at its scheduled airport stops, a special invitation is being given to history teachers and their students.  The event will entail educational materials developed especially for the event.

As a background, during the dark days of post Pearl Harbor, the United States was woefully in need of a morale boost. President Roosevelt requested a retaliatory attack on mainland Japan.  Aviator James Doolittle was selected to lead the mission which consisted of 16 B-25 bombers launched from an aircraft carrier, an unprecedented tactic at the time.

South Dakota natives Henry Potter (Pierre) and Don Smith (Oldham) took part in the raid.  Potter flew with the lead bomber flown by Doolittle. Smith was the pilot of the fifteenth bomber. 

Museum Communications Director, John Mollison explained the significance of the moment, “The Doolittle Raid ranks as one of the most audacious and heroic acts in American history.   With two South Dakotans on the raid’s roster, it’s yet another terrific reminder of the crucial and important roles South Dakotans have played in world history.”

The B-25 bomber that will be flying across the state bears the markings of an actual WWII combat veteran, seeing over 130 missions. The bomber is maintained and flown by the Minnesota Wing of the Commemorative Air Force, a group of dedicated aviation enthusiasts that work to keep historic aircraft in the air and accessible to the public.

The scheduled stops will be approximately one hour in each location.  Teachers interested in seeing the bomber are encouraged to contact John Mollison at 605.261.6070 before April 10.  Please see the attached “Raid Across South Dakota RESOURCES” page for more information.

Bankwest will provide a specially prepared Educator’s Kit to attendees with preference to teachers and students. Other key patrons of the event include:  Elevate Rapid City, The South Dakota Ellsworth Development Authority, Boeing, Northrup and Black Hills Community Bank.  (A full listing is on the Resources page).

The South Dakota Air & Space Museum is supported by the South Dakota Air & Space Foundation and is located just outside the gate of Ellsworth Air Force Base near Box Elder, SD.

RASD Landing spots:

In Sioux Falls (APRIL 16):  Maverick Air Center

In Mitchell (APRIL 17):  Wright Brothers Aviation

In Pierre (APRIL 17):  Pierre Regional Airport

In Rapid City (APRIL 17):  Rapid City L&D Aero (Rapid City Regional)


Elevate Rapid City
South Dakota Ellsworth Development  Authority
Regional Health
Black Hills Harley-Davidson
Scull Construction
Dream Design
Black Hills Community Bank
Black Hills Energy
Pete Lien & Sons
West River Energy Association
South Dakota Air & Space Museum

RASD Information Centers (Flight Schedule will be updated after April 10):

BankWest - Kami Marts, 605.945.3794
Elevate Rapid City - Lynn Kendall, 605.718.8480
Wright Brothers Aviation, Terri Shannon, (Mitchell)—605.770.5668 
Pierre Regional Airport, Mike Isaacs, Pierre airport (PIR)—605.773.7447 
Rapid City L&D Aviation, EAA Chapter #39 President, John Glasford—605.858.5850

For information on the Doolittle Raid:
Search: Doolittle Raid, Jimmy Doolittle

• I Could Never Be So Lucky Again: An Autobiography of James H. ""Jimmy"" Doolittle with Carroll V. Glines

• The First Heroes: The Extraordinary Story of the Doolittle Raid--America's First World War II Victory by Craig Nelson

  • Target Tokyo: Jimmy Doolittle and the Raid That Avenged Pearl Harbor by James M Scott
  • Admiral Bill Halsey: A Naval Life by Thomas Alexander Hughes

Author Craig Nelson recounts writing his book:

he RASD B-25 Mitchell:

Last Modified:


Website Powered By PageFramer, Development By Robert Sharp & Associates