CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Vintage World War II planes are here for public tours and paid rides Wednesday through Sunday at Wilson Air Center.
Ashley Henderson meets the first two bombers to arrive.
DON BOCCACCIO — B29 TOUR LEADER
“They see us fly over and it’s not a normal airplane so they realize what’s happening and then they’ll come in and see us.”
The Commemorative Air Force considers their aircraft a “flying museum”. This B-24, one of the most produced aircraft in WWII, is one of only two still flying today.
“This is why we’re here. to make sure that these people are recognized for what they’ve done. Now we’re getting into the point where getting into the children. Because we lose so many WWII veterans every day.”
Part of their mission is just educating the public on the planes, and how important they and their crews were to winning the war. But they also love connecting with people who flew on, or who had parents fly on these planes.
“This year we’re getting more of the children, of the dad’s who flew right?”
Chip Kell, a UT football Hall of Famer, was thrilled to get to actually sit in the co-pilot’s seat that his father was in, during a mission in Germany in 1944.
“My dad was a co-pilot on a B-24 just like this one, and they got shot down on one of his missions.”
“I can’t imagine jumping out of one of these things. Did you ever think you’d be sitting in the seat your dad was in? No I didn’t think it’d ever happen. How’s it feel? Awesome. Awesome.”
Several other WWII era planes will be coming in for the event through this weekend.
In Chattanooga, Ashley Henderson, News 12 Now.