Flying representatives of the great bomber fleets that hastened the end of World War II will touch down at Groton-New London Airport from Monday through Wednesday, September 10 through 12.
The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress “Nine O Nine,” the Consolidated B-24 Liberator “Witchcraft,” and a P-51C Mustang fighter each offers a rare opportunity to visit, explore, and learn more about these treasures. The B-17 is one of only ten in flying condition in the United States, and the B-24J and dual-control P-51C are the sole remaining flying examples of their type.
The “Wings of Freedom Tour” arrives at Groton-New London Airport at 2 p.m. on September 10 and will be on display at Lanmar Aviation at Groton-New London Airport until the aircraft depart September 12 at noon.
Hours of ground tours and displays are: 2-5 p.m. on Monday, September 10; 9 a.m. through 5 p.m. on Tuesday, September 11; 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday, September 12.
For those who would like to take their reminiscences into the air, 30-minute flights are available for donations to cover expenses. The 30-minute flight experiences are normally scheduled before and after the ground-tour hours.
Donations are $12 for adults and $6 for children under 12 for up-close viewing and tours through the inside of the aircraft. WWII Veterans can tour through the aircraft at no cost and there are discounted rates for school groups. To take to the air, visitors can board a 30-minute flight aboard either the B-17 or B-24 are $425 per person. P-51 flights are $2,200 for a half hour and $3,200 for a full hour. For reservations and information on flight experiences call 800.568.8924.
The B-17 and B-24 were the backbone of the American effort during the war from 1942 to 1945 and were famous for their ability to sustain damage and still accomplish the mission. Despite the risks of anti-aircraft fire and attacking fighters, many B-17 and B-24 bombers safely brought their crews home. The P-51 Mustang was affectionately known as the bombers’ “Little Friend” – saving countless crews from Axis fighters.
“Wings of Freedom” is a project of the nonprofit Collings Foundation, devoted to “living history” participation. The Wings tour is in its 23rd year and visits an average of 110 cities in over 35 states annually. Find out more by visiting the Resident website at www.theresident.com.