Cheating Russians, Nazis and luck on a B-17

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  • Cinefan MIAMI, FL
    Oct. 16, 2011 2:07 p.m.

    Liked to have seen... sorry!

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Oct. 15, 2011 11:56 a.m.

    An excellent article. Thanks.

    I had the opportunity to ride Aluminum Overcast out of Ogden a few years ago. An incredible experience.

    But even more incredible was the chance to meet one of the heroes who actually flew them in combat. He was wheeled out to the plane in a wheelchair and sat there looking and stroking the aluminum skin and rivets.

    Someone offered him his own ticket if the old man wanted to ride a B-17 once more. But with tears in his eyes, the veteran shook his head. He explained that only one trip had been enough. On his first mission, his plane was hit. A wing came off and the plane began spinning so violently that centrifugal force pinned everyone inside. By some miracle, this man slid out an open gun port and was suddenly free-falling. His chute opened. He was captured.

    And he was the only one of ten who survived.

    There were tears in many other eyes as we saluted him that day.

    Thank you, EAA, for keeping this thing flying. There are only about 9 left in the sky now.

    And thank you, all the brave men who flew them.