You can go through the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. and see an awe inspiring display of aircraft. However, the majority of people never get the opportunity to do that. The Yellow Rose Squadron flies its museum piece to the people, and that's quite a feat considering the airplane is over 60 years old. If seeing this warbird isn't enough, people can lay their hand on the rivets that keep her together. You can crawl through the Rose, touch it, smell the hydraulic fluid, and get greasy from those big radial engines. Since the two 1,700 horsepower engines burn approximately $350 worth of fuel per hour, costs run high for the Yellow Rose Squadron.
Staffed entirely by volunteers, financing is accomplished mainly through donations, tours of the aircraft, and the sale of memorabilia. These monies help to offset the high operational cost. As a non-profit, tax exempt organization, the CAF must rely on the communities that the Rose visits as the legacy of this historic aircraft endures.
"We are very careful with every penny," said Jack Hart, a Yellow Rose member. "Everyone on the crew is a volunteer, and each member pays his or her own expenses. However, we never turn down outside donations."
The North American B-25J Mitchell "Yellow Rose" is one of the over 11,000 B-25s built during WWII. There are only twenty-seven restored and flying in the United States at this time. Colonel Jack Reeves, the Executive Officer of the Yellow Rose Squadron estimates that there may be 35 B-25s in any condition, worldwide.
"America cannot affored to lose such a treasure. The Yellow Rose Squadron plans to fly their museum piece for years to come," said Grant Lannon, Squadron Leader.