I know its not the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month yet but I'm gonna be busy right about then and I happened to spot this while coming home from church this morning:
Not too many things that could be. It wasn't alone either. This fellow was parked a few yards away.
A little friend showed up just after we got there.
I took the tour a few years ago but It was worth going again.
Seemed like it was a mite easier squeezin' through the bomb bay the first time. Maybe I'd better go back and read that Treadclimber post again.
These old planes have always fascinated me. I work my way through them thinking about all the men that flew in them and the kinds of things they went through.
Gregory Freeman's "The Forgotten 500" isn't really about fighting in the old planes. Its about the rescue of several hundred of our airmen from Yugoslavia during the war but they got there by being shot down so it does have a few accounts of what that could be like. Fun stuff like flying along with gasoline sloshing around the floor from shot up fuel tanks or flying straight into a mountain on an overcast day. I think about that when I hear some actor or sports figure say that his job is more stressful or more dangerous or more anything than being in the military.
You couldn't get me to slide into a ball turret and dangle down there under the plane waiting for somebody in a Messerschmitt to shoot at us. (Seriously, I'm too fat and I don't bend so good anymore. I don't think I'd fit). We sent a whole lot of men up there and they did just that. A lot of them just kids.
I've known a few of those kids over the years. One fellow was in The Great Escape (the actual escape, not the movie) and another volunteered for B 29s after flying B 17s in Europe. Met a new one today. Leo did 24 missions in B 24s. He stood on the runway and looked at the planes but didn't go inside. I kind of suspect that a fellow's best memories of one of these would be climbing out of them so I didn't ask. I just thanked him for serving and took a picture for him of him and his son in front of the B 24.
You hear "Wright Cyclone" and you don't usually think "Studebaker" but they built their share of them too along with the trucks that kept Stalin's Armies rolling and the Weasels that did everything but climb trees and fly. Odds are good that the Merlin in that P 51 was built by Packard. Ford built a whole bunch of the B 24s. Everybody that could build something built something to help win that war.
All in all a nice little surprise to show up right before Veteran's Day.