Wings of Freedom visit report

Obie1

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We took my 93-year-old dad to Worcester this morning to visit the old war birds, including the B-24 that he flew in the big war (well not the actual one, but you get the idea). Even though he didn't really want to, we convinced him to wear his garrison hat and wings (hey, it got him in for free).


The planes were cool, especially all the M-2s (demilled). We got to see the B-17 land and the P-51 and B-25 take off--man, that thing is loud. My dad, who had some limited time in the Mitchell said they used to say that mankind has never invented a more efficient instrument for turning fuel into noise than the B-25. Apparently lots of pilots suffered severe hearing loss.



While I've seen these birds before, I'd forgotten how comparatively small these planes are. A B-24 is only about 10 feet longer than an F-18. And the engines are huge--14 cylinder 1200 horsepower times four.



How'd you like this to be your seat on a mission?



Or even worse, this.



As a kid, I drew more pictures of this plane while I was supposed to be studying than anything else.



They towed this Corsair out of the hangar part way through the morning. I don't know if it flies, I'm guessing so. It was cool to see up close, and man is that prop huge. (I looked it up--13 feet in diameter.)



And, even though the pilots would disagree, the B-17 was the most popular plane.



Equally as cool as the planes was the number of people who asked my dad where he'd served, thanked him, and even wanted their picture taken with him. But the coolest part by far was seeing the few WWII vets talking with each other and sharing brief stories. One guy wearing captain's bars snapped off a salute to dad, saying "Major."

This guy was a B-24 navigator in the South Pacific. He and my dad concluded that they'd chewed a lot of the same dirt on Okinawa, Saipan, and other islands.



This guy was a B-24 pilot in Europe.

Wings of Freedom 027.jpg

Anyhow, if you get a chance to go, they are still there tomorrow.
 

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Skysoldier

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Thank you for this Outstanding post!

Fantastic pictures, and the captions made me smile.

My Dad also flew in WWII. He was a navigator on B-17's flying out of Thorpe Abbots in England withe 100th Bomb Group.

And I too was amazed when I finally got to see the plane he flew, and how small they really were.
 

Stevireno

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Thanks for sharing, a generation of heros... I loved the photos, are you a professional photographer?

Sent from my ASUS_Z00AD using Tapatalk
 

Mountain

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I'm just outside the garage, cursing a stuck bolt on a car project and said to myself, "Who the hell is flying such a loud damn plane. JFC..". I stopped cursing when I saw what it was- the B24! I live in the woods, just over the reservoirs. Had some great views of the bomber, and yeah- that thing is loud.

Thanks for such a great post.
 

greencobra

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enjoyed your post very much. i too spent a lot of time drawing these planes in class instead of what i was suppose to. the b-24 was my favorite to draw, loved the look, twin tail,etc. still a thrill to see it now.
 

Obie1

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Thanks for sharing, a generation of heros... I loved the photos, are you a professional photographer?

Sent from my ASUS_Z00AD using Tapatalk[/QUOTE

No, I'm not pro photographer, though my wife has taught me a few things. I took these on a 14 MP LUMIX point and shoot, and you can see in some of them that the lens cover didn't completely open. Mostly just good subject matter.
 

Fixxah

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A heartfelt thanks from America for the freedom they died for so that we could piss it all away. I have a feeling it will not have been in vain. Time will tell.
Got goosebumps when you mentioned the salute. You must have as well. Thanks for the posts. So many of the remaining WWII vets cannot get out due to failing health. Glad to see it is not the case here.
Sorry for rambling on.
 

Andy in NH

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Great post, photos and info!

And, even though the pilots would disagree, the B-17 was the most popular plane.
I'm surprised the B-24 does not get more respect; compared to the B-17 there were more made, it is faster, has a longer range and in certain circumstances can carry a heavier payload.
 

smokey-seven

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Years ago in Texas, there was a War Bird meet at an airfield. A Japanese Zero radioed to the tower requesting landing instructions and was told to take a 360 around the field and ask again. On completing the 360 a couple minutes later, the tower granted landing on strip #X and gave the wind and barometer setting. As the Zero lined up on final, the tower radioed the Zero, "Zero # 241 on final, check your six."

The Zero pilot looked back to see two Corsairs on his tail.

Now that's a few people with superb timing and a great sense of humor.
 
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