Shannon Stacey
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Wings of Freedom tour

De planes! De planes! The Wings of Freedom tour came to Laconia ,and we took the boys over. I don’t have the words for how amazing this afternoon was. Just…awe-inspiring.

From their event info:

The WINGS OF FREEDOM TOUR travels the nation a flying tribute to the flight crews who flew them, the ground crews who maintained them, the workers who built them, the soldiers, sailors and airmen they helped protect; and the citizens and families that share the freedom that they helped preserve. The B-17, B-24 & B-25 were the backbone of the American effort during the war from 1942 to 1945 and were famous for their ability to sustain damage and still accomplish the mission. Despite the risks of anti-aircraft fire, attacking enemy fighters, and the harrowing environment of sub-zero temperatures, many B-17s, B-24s, and B-25s safely brought their crews home. After the war, many aircraft were scrapped for their raw aluminum to rebuild a nation in postwar prosperity and therefore very few were spared. The rarity of the B-17, B-24 & B-25 and their importance to telling the story of WWII is why the Collings Foundation continues to fly and display the aircraft nationwide. At each location we encourage local veterans and their families to visit and share their experiences and stories with the public. For aviation enthusiasts, the tour provides opportunity for the museum to come to the visitor and not the other way around!

Visitors can find out more by visiting our website at

The planes they had:

The B17 is one of only 9 in flying condition in the United States, the B-24J is the sole remaining example of its type flying in the World (and we saw it IN THE AIR!), and the B-25 is one of only a handful in flying condition.

Pictures after the jump!

The B-24J coming in for a landing.

The nose of the B-17.

The short kid marveling that not only did a guy fit in there, but had to man the gun. (B-17)

Standing under the wing of the B-17, looking out at the B-25 and B-24J.

The B-25 was a favorite among the adolescent boys. Can’t imagine why.

Short kid manning the side gun of the B-24J.

The B-17 firing up for take-off.

6 comments to “Wings of Freedom tour”

  1. Anna Louise Lucia
      · September 19th, 2007 at 2:43 am · Link

    Impressive, Shan. I have a distant memory of being taken to see the only Lancaster bomber still flying in the UK. Awesome.

  2. Heather Rae Scott
      · September 19th, 2007 at 8:39 am · Link

    I love Air Shows, any kind. I remember running during Basic Training and having the B-51s flying over us. Is that the tall kid beside your hubby???? Man has he grown if it is. Wow.

  3. Shannon
      · September 19th, 2007 at 8:54 am · Link

    Those are amazing pics, Anna! I would have liked to have seen the B-17 and B-25 fly in together (the B-24J came in the following day) but with the husband at work and the kids at school, it didn’t happen. They didn’t have any of the smaller support planes because it’s more of a traveling museum than an air show, but a guy here in our town has restored a couple of ground support vehicles—pusher, ambulance, fire truck—of the era and they were on display.

    And yeah, in the pic of the Tondelayo, those are my three guys looking up at the nose. Hubby and the tall kid both happened to be wearing the light blue company t-shirts, and then the short kid’s harder to see in front of them. Grown isn’t even the word for it.

  4. Heather Rae Scott
      · September 19th, 2007 at 9:12 am · Link

    He’s as tall as the hubby! Okay, now I can play the whole growing up before my eyes thing. :cry: When did our kids stop being babies?

  5. Charlene
      · September 19th, 2007 at 10:57 am · Link

    Very cool. There’s a guy out here who takes people for rides in his biplane. Those old airplanes are just incredible.

  6. Melani Blazer
      · September 19th, 2007 at 1:03 pm · Link

    Definitely WAY cool to see them in the air. I was awe inspired during the spring trip we took to the Kalamazoo, MI Air Zoo. The second exhibit featured all kinds of history from the 2nd world war. I actually broke into tears at one point. To see them fly? Would have been utterly amazing. So glad you took the kids.

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