View Full Version : Departures -- Sunday Punch

09-17-2002, 07:45 PM
The North American B-15 Mitchell medium bomber, "Sunday Punch," was on hand for the Rolls Royce Heritage Cup competition and the People's Choice Awards at the 2002 Reno National Championship Air Races.

The original aircraft was a gift to the War effort during World War II. The workers at a factory in Oakridge, Tennessee, donated their Sunday overtime pay towards the building of the original bomber.

Every time they would punch their Sunday work cards on the time machine at the plant, that was a contribution -- a sacrifice -- they personally made to ending one of the most horrific wars of all times. Thus, the moniker, "Sunday Punch:"

09-17-2002, 07:51 PM
Nose 50 mm machine gun emplacements on Sunday Punch. The B-25 Mitchell was a "Flying Fortress" in it's own right, much like the Boeing B-17. The original Sunday Punch had "stingers" all over, including the eight in the nose, two in the top turret, two in the tail, and a total of four -- two each on either side of the cockpit -- sixteen total. During World War II, a man by the name of "Pappy" Gunn even installed his own special ship-killing modification into his squadron's B-25s, a 105mm cannon in the nose, which would be loaded by the bombardier and fired by the pilot. The 105 Howitzer is still utilized in today's Lockheed AC-130 "Azrael" or "Spectre" Gunships:

09-17-2002, 08:08 PM
The runways are long and wide at Reno-Stead, unlike the 809 foot six inch long, 127 foot wide, flight deck of the original USS Hornet, CV-8, which launched the Doolittle Mission against Tokyo and Japan. Just the same, sixteen B25s launched from that ship on April 18, 1942, in a "suicide mission" that would have made the Japanese proud of such Bushido Warriors, if it weren't for the fact these Samurai belonged to their enemy.

According to Pacific University, MCEL, "Bushido, literally translated 'Way of the Warrior,' was developed in Japan between the Heian and Tokugawa Ages (9th-12th century). It was a code and way of life for Samurai, a class of warriors similar to the medieval knights of Europe. It was influenced by Zen and Confucianism, two different schools of thought of those periods.

Bushido is not unlike the chivalry and codes of the European knights."

According to Pac U, the Bushido Code "Puts emphasis on loyalty, self sacrifice, justice, sense of shame, refined manners, purity, modesty, frugality, martial spirit, honor and affection. (Nippon Steel Human Resources Development Co., Ltd. 329)."

To American Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines, Bushido was not unlike their own Codes. Strange that two countries at war, could be so far apart on issues, yet send men so much alike against each other into combat:

09-17-2002, 08:14 PM
Sunday Punch makes her flyby from Reno-Stead after her departure from the site of the 2002 Reno National Championship Air Races. This is a frontal view as she makes a low pass abeam Aviation Classics, whose ramp supports the Static Displays held by the Reno Air Races, including Military, Civil, and those involved in the Rolls Royce Heritage Cup and People's Choice competitions:

09-17-2002, 08:21 PM
Sunday Punch in flight and in profile, as she climbs skyward following her low pass. Once, there were thousands:

09-17-2002, 08:29 PM
One of the treats of the 2002 Reno Air Races was the fact that Sunday Punch and her medium Air Attack contemporary, the Douglas A-26, were both represented in the growing collection of aircraft that come to compete in the Rolls Royce Heritage Cup and People's Choice Awards. As with any good thing, all good things must end, and Brigadoon disappears with the last major departure of the 39th Annual Reno National Championship Air Races and Air Show of 2002: