Hoffsette completes training, now rated as second-in-command pilot for a 1944 B-25J Mitchell Bomber

For the Linn County Leader

Leon M. Hoffsette, Brookfield, recently completed a flight training program culminating in an FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) type rating as a second-in-command pilot in a 1944 B-25J Mitchell Bomber.  The training, which Hoffsette completed in Delaware entailed a full day of ground school and intensive flight instruction including multiple takeoffs and landings, steep turns, stalls, bomb runs, and emergencies, to include single-engine operations.

Hoffsette graduated Brookfield High School in 1971.  Previously, he flew as a command pilot in the US Air Force version of the Boeing 707 air refueling aircraft, retiring after 30 years active duty at the rank of Colonel.  Flying a WWII combat aircraft, like the B-25, has long been a personal ambition of his.

Hoffsette was a command pilot in the US Air Force version of the Boeing 707 air refueling aircraft, retiring after 30 years active duty at the rank of Colonel.

The B-25 Mitchell medium bomber was made famous by Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle, in 1942, when he led 16 of these aircraft off the deck of the USS Hornet, attacking multiple targets in mainland Japan.  This action raised the morale of millions of Americans and service members, in the dark, early days of World War II.  This particular aircraft, Panchito, is owned and operated by the Delaware Aviation Museum Foundation.  More information about this flight training program and aircraft is available at delawareaviationmuseum.org.

Hoffsette at the controls.