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 www.collingsfoundation.org.
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.