March 24, 2011 Leave a Comment
There is more than vintage aircraft, a skydiver jump team and remote controlled aircraft to this weekend’s Jasper air show. World War II era bombers and modern military aircraft will be on the ground and in the air. The B-17 in particular, brings back memories for those who flew it.
The “Texas Raiders” B-17 touched down at the Jasper County Airport, Saturday, giving East Texans a chance to re-visit her power and beauty.
“I was raised on a farm and never did see planes hardly ever, let alone get to ride in them so that you know, gave me a chance to go,” expressed Carl Doyle as he remembers what it was like to fly aboard the B-17 bomber more than 60 years ago.
The World War II veteran joined the Air Force toward the end of the war, and served as a weather observer. Still, he got his chance to fly.
“The B-17 had a boat on the bottom to go out and drop down if one of the planes went down and every time I got a chance, I was on it,” said Doyle.
Donald Lee Hell, who spent 1,000 hours flying the bomber with the Coast Guard, rescuing lost ships and planes will take any opportunity to pay a visit to the B-17.
“Flying in one for that many hours, you just like to go look at them again,” said Hell.
She may be beautiful but the vintage aircraft was also a potent weapon that dropped more bombs than any other U.S. aircraft in World War II.
Helping to educate the people about the bomber public information officer Sandy Thompson explained that “it was called the Flying Fortress possibly because it took so much flack and stood up as a fortress in the war and those that were built, a very few remaining today.”