Valiant Effort

Annie at engine start

Annie is the nickname of one 41-21218, the serial number for the BT-13A that was built at Downey Aircraft in Southern California. Delivered in May of 1942 to Merced Army Air Field. We have been able to uncover much of her rich history and are actively researching more about her. It is known that she completed a full tour of duty at Merced over the span of several years, she trained many individuals and did not ever sustain any major damage. Her military records show that she traveled around the country several times for maintenance rework. Her military records have verified that her current markings are historically accurate, the designation for Merced was E and her field number was in fact 524. Once released from the military at the end of WWII as surplus, she was purchased by Soloman "Sol" Sweet, of Sweet Flying Service out of Visalia California. Sol was the founder of the airport in Visalia and a prolific aviator of his time. Not much is known of her time with Sol, and her paper trail goes dark until the early 80's when she was purchased by a private party. Since that time she has gone on to be seen at many airshows, appeared on the big screen alongside Mel Gibson in the 1990's film "Forever Young", been on display at a museum, been featured in a magazine article, and has continued on her journey of teaching men and women the basic skills needed to fly warbirds. Her name originated from a few years back, during some corrosion repair deep inside her wing we uncovered a name written on the metal, invariably put there by a Rosie the Riveter named Annie.