What is Doc?

Doc is a B-29 Superfortress and one of 1,644 manufactured in Wichita during World War II. Since 1987 when Tony Mazzolini found Doc on sitting and rotting away in the Mojave Desert, plans have been in the works to restore the historic warbird to flying status to serve as a flying museum.

Over the past 15+ years, hundreds of volunteers have worked on Doc and the restoration project. Skilled workers and retirees from Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems, veterans, active duty military and others wanting to honor those who served, have spent tens of thousands of hours on Doc’s restoration. Countless individuals and organizations also made financial and in-kind contributions to keep the project going. Below is a brief timeline of Doc’s military service and the restoration effort.

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1945
Doc Rolls Off Assembly Line

In March of 1945, B-29 No. 44-69972 (now known as Doc) was delivered to the U.S. Army.  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.

Doc Serves in Multiple Non-Combat Roles

In July of 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 of 1955, Doc was assigned to target-towing duty and in March a year later, Doc and the rest of its squadron became targets for bomb training at China Lake, California.

1950s

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DOC in Baker range

1987
Found by Tony Mazzolini

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.

Restoration Plans Begin

After more than a decade of contacting multiple government agencies and working with volunteers in the China Lake area, Tony took possession of the once target practice plane. A few months later in April of 1998, Tony and his team of volunteers towed Doc out of its 42 year resting place on the floor of the Mojave Desert.

1998

China Lake Tony Can't Wait

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2000
Doc Returns to Wichita

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

Doc’s Friends Makes Restoration Commitment

In February of 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.

2013

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