Historic B-17 Bomber makes stop in FargoFargo, ND (WDAY TV)-- It flew in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. The B-17 bomber dramatically changed how America fights in combat. Tonight, only one of the 15 air-worthy crafts in the nation, is here in Fargo.
By: Andrea Hubbell, WDAY
Fargo, ND (WDAY TV)-- It flew in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. The B-17 bomber dramatically changed how America fights in combat. Tonight, only one of the 15 air-worthy crafts in the nation, is here in Fargo.
They call this the "Big Bird." Without any extra weight, this plane tops out at 36,000 pounds. Planes like this primarily dropped bombs over Europe, where only 1 out of 4 guys who went on these missions made it out alive.
Some might call it risk, others could call it crazy, but, most say it's bravery. The 4-engine heavy bomber first took off back in the 30's.
"this was the plane that changed the tide of the war."
Then, about 10 men boarded the plane, 75% of them planning on never coming home. Laurel Scholl knows the feeling. She's an Air Force wife herself.
Laurel Scholl- Load Master: "I have put my husband on the plane and hoped that he would come home to me. So, we do this to remember, ya know, as far back as 70 years ago. That the world would be a much different place without those men who flew those airplanes."
Men, like this 92 year old pilot, a World War II bomber.
Stew Bass - WWII Veteran: "I had a lot of strikes. I had a lot of people that didn't like me. You knew it would drop cause you felt the plane buck up."
Stew Bass charted more than 300 hours up in the air. Flying a smaller version of the big bird, called a Torpedo Avenger.
Steve Bass: "Back then it was all seat of the pants and not very many instruments. It was man against man."
More than 70 years later, Matt Mcnamara hold on to the same handles, sits in the same seat many veterans during the pacific war.
Matt Mcnamara - Co-Pilot: "I equate it to, my dad had a Studebaker pickup when I was growing up. No power steering, manual transmission. It's big it's heavy, but it's very stable."
Flying back in time to remember how how this B-17 changed the face of war, but how brave military men risked their lives for their country.
Laurel Scholl: "We have to show that we have not forgotten."
If you're looking to take a chance and check out a piece of history, the Arizona Commemorative Air Force is offering B-17 rides through Sunday. It's all part of a nation wide tour to promote history of the aircraft and raise money for the organization. Tickets start at $425.00 dollars.
You can get yours by calling : (602) 448-9415