Beautiful weekend ahead for visitors to the Sentimental journey

 

The Sentimental Journey glistens under a painted sky shortly after its arrival at La Porte Municipal Airport.

 

The weather seems to be cooperating as aircraft enthusiasts and history lovers visit the La Porte Municipal Airport, 2341 Ind. 39, where ground tours of the iconic World War II aircraft B-17 Flying Fortress Sentimental Journey continue today through Sunday.

The arrival of the fully-restored B-17 bomber, courtesy of the Commemorative Air Force’s Airbase Arizona, was delayed one day because of severe weather in most of the Midwest.

Ground tours continue Friday through Sunday, from 2 to 6 p.m.

According to exhibition officials, the B-17 Flying Fortress Sentimental Journey is one of only four  currently flying in the world out of over 12,000 manufactured for combat during WWII – and is the leading exhibition warbird in The Flying Legends of Victory Tour conducted by CAF Airbase Arizona, a non-profit flying museum. The Boeing B-17 was most famous for operations in Europe but was used in every theater of war from 1941-45. B-17 cruise speed was about 160 miles per hour; maximum altitude was 36,000 ft. At high bombing altitudes in unheated aircraft, extreme temperatures subjected many crew members to frostbite.

 

CAF Tour Director Mike Garrett talks to members of the Rotary Club of La Porte who gathered for their dinner meeting at the airport to celebrate the Sentimental Journey’s arrival. Behind Garrett is Rotary President Leigh Morris.

 

Signatures and service information from B-17 crew veterans are scrawled on the doors of the Sentimental Journey’s bomb bay doors. The CAF encourages visiting B-17 vets to leave the messages there.

 

Written by one of the B-17 veterans: “Roland H. Martin, first pilot the Iron Maiden, 379th Bomb Group 525th Squadron, Kimbelton (sic), England. Shot down 2nd Schweinfurt Mission Oct. 14, 1943. 10th mission. POW Stalag Luft #1 30th, Germany.”

 

14 — Another reads “Minden 9/6/19, Danny Francisco – 95 yrs. Tail gunner, B-17G, 15th AF 99th Bomb Group, Foggia, Italy. 50 missions. (Signature.)”

 

It’s been a warm welcome for the plane and crew.

 

 

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