B-25 pieces to be auctioned for KiwanisPublished 11:27am Monday, January 30, 2012
Pieces of the B-25 plane that crashed into Lake Martin in 1945 will be auctioned off Feb. 7 at the Alexander City Kiwanis Club’s annual steak dinner and auction.
The parts include the emergency fuel pump, a personal heater, a section of the bomb bay door, a camera vacuum valve and an engine fuel filter from the twin-engine B-25 bomber.
The plane crashed into the Sandy Creek area of the lake on March 20, 1945, killing three U.S Air Force pilots who were traveling from Washington D.C. to Fort Worth, Texas.
“Everything is in its original state,” said Greenville resident Bob Norwood, who is donating the parts to the auction. “A little mud has been washed off of some of the pieces, because some of them were so muddy that you couldn’t tell what they were.”
Norwood, a diver who used to live on Lake Martin, began exploring the B-25 wreckage in 1991 with a group of other divers.
He decided to donate the selected pieces to Kiwanis after speaking to the club about a monument that will be constructed on the lake this year to honor those lives lost in the crash.
Dick Bronson, a Kiwanian and president of Lake Watch of Lake Martin, said all of the plane pieces in the auction would come with a letter of authenticity.
“These are pieces of Lake Martin history,” Bronson said. “This will be a part of the lake as long as the lake is here. The mystery of the B-25 plane will always be here, and the mystery of what their mission was.”
Bronson said he doesn’t know what the dollar value of the plane pieces might be, but he hopes there are people who will find the pieces of interest.
“It will take a special kind of person to want to purchase something like that – a collector, or an ex-pilot or a World War II buff,” Bronson said. “The bomb bay door, I could see someone inscribing that and putting it in their garden or on a walking path.”
The Alexander City Kiwanis Club steak dinner and auction will be held Feb. 7 at the Elk’s Lodge. Those wishing to attend can purchase tickets in advance from any Kiwanian.
Other items on the auction block include a dinner for 10 at Five Star Plantation, vacation packages, an Alabama championship football signed by Nick Saban and an Auburn championship football signed by Gene Chizik.
Wingler said the Kiwanis Club is still gathering items for the auction. Businesses or individuals that would like to donate an item to the auction can contact Wingler at 256-397-4113 or firstname.lastname@example.org.