This weekend I had the opportunity to see 3 flying pieces of World War II history. Friday afternoon, 3 planes flew in to Wiley Post Airport – a B-17 and B-24 bomber, and a P-51 Mustang. They are part of the “Wings of Freedom 2012” tour, operated by the Collings Foundation. This group has a number of vintage aircraft that tour in air shows and other events across the country. I’m standing with my friend Ray in front of the B-17G. This is one of only 11 left in the world that still fly, at least regularly. Others are on display in museums. The B-17 is called the “Flying Fortress” – this model has 13 guns, part of how it got its name.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next was the B-24 “Liberator.” It was considered a heavy bomber, used also during WWII, and produced from 1940-1945. We went inside this one, too.

 

Then there was the TP-51C Mustang. It is a lot different from any other “Mustang” I have seen, and according to the information stand in front of it, this is the only one of this type there is. This is a Navy version of the P-51. The wings fold up so as to make more room on aircraft carriers, where space is very limited.

Also, I want to share this photo below. You are looking at an American hero who let me take a picture of him in front of the B-17. Meet Bob Wyatt. Bob served in WWII, the Korean War, and Vietnam War. He flew on the B-17 long before I was born, ensuring I would grow up in a free country. I owe my liberty to men like him, and I only hope I can live up to the example the he and his generation have set for the rest of us.

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