As a birthday present for Tom, he, his sister Kris, Jonathan and William got to ride on a B-17 last weekend at the EAA Airventure in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. It was the flight of a lifetime on a “Flying Fortress”, the primary American heavy bomber primarily used in Europe during World War II. 15,000 were made and about 7,000 were shot down. Despite these horrifying numbers, the B-17 was known for its durability, sometimes returning to base with only one engine working. Its crews loved it, and many consider it to be the best all around bomber of World War II.*
*Information provided by William Schlueter, resident World War II historian.
Here are some snapshots of that memorable flight. There were three crew members and ten passengers on board that day.