PRESS RELEASE – SPRING, TEXAS – Celebrating 70 years of flying service in 2015, the vintage WWII B-17 Flying Fortress, Texas Raiders, and her crew will reunite one of the few remaining B-17 pilots from that historic WWII era with this beautifully restored aircraft in Burnet, Texas April 24th and 25th. At the time of his service, Second Lt. Samuel Smith, flew 24 bombing missions during the war and in August of 2012, 67 years after his March 1945 mission over Hopston, Germany, Smith was honored with the Distinguished Flying Cross. Today, Col Smith, is determined to meet up with this iconic B-17 at the Bluebonnet Air Show in Burnet, Texas. Additionally, 5 P-51 fighter pilots who fought in the Battle of Iwo Jima will be in attendance. The combination of these WWII veterans along with the B-17 Flying Fortress provides a rare opportunity for attendees to experience history as never before.
Of the 12,731 B-17s built across the US only 9 are currently in flying condition, including Texas Raiders. The Bomber will be arriving into Burnet Municipal Airport on Friday the 24th of April and flying Saturday the 25th during the Bluebonnet Air Show, offering visitors a rare chance to see and touch one of history’s most storied heavy bombers. For a nominal admission, the public can walk through the vintage B-17, which includes commentary from crew members. The ultimate Flying Fortress experience, a 30-minute flight, can be reserved on this classic aircraft, either online at www.B17TexasRaiders.org or by calling 1-855-FLY-A-B17 (1-855-359-2217). Texas Raiders will be on display and in performance at the Bluebonnet Air Show Friday and Saturday, April 24th and 25th. This is an opportunity for all ages to experience living history up close.
About Texas Raiders and the Commemorative Air Force (CAF)
Texas Raiders was delivered to the U.S. Army Air Force July 12, 1945 and since 1967 has been owned by the CAF, a non-profit, educational association based in Midland, Texas. The Flying Fortress now resides at Hooks Airport in Spring, Texas where maintenance, restoration and operations are conducted by a dedicated volunteer crew. This B-17 has been described as one of the most authentically restored B-17s flying today. Texas Raiders flying schedule can be viewed at www.B17TexasRaiders.org and regular updates and photos are available at www.facebook.com/B17TexasRaiders .