The Collings Foundation is celebrating the 25th anniversary of their Wings of Freedom tour this year. Barnstorming their aircraft across the country is a massive undertaking, but in the tradition of barnstormers throughout the age of flight, their aircraft are eagerly anticipated wherever they stop. This year’s tour features the Foundation’s B-17G Flying Fortress “Nine-O-Nine”, B-24J Liberator “Witchcraft” and TP-51C Mustang “Betty Jane” and has already visited more than 20 locations in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. The trio will stop in Scottsdale, Arizona today, and then move on for an extensive tour of California over the rest of April, and all of May. They will then head north to Washington State, via Nevada in June, before heading east. The Collings Foundation hasn’t defined their schedule past late June yet, but be sure to visit their website HERE for updates, which will occur regularly.
In a recent conversation with WarbirdsNews, Hunter Chaney, the Foundation’s Marketing Director said: “The Collings Foundation operates this extraordinary tour in honor of our WWII Veterans. When it comes to engaging people in WWII history, touring through and flying in these fully restored aircraft is a particularly effective means to bring people closer to understanding. Hearing stories from our WWII Veterans and their families in such a setting creates an indelible memory. We are honored to continue to see our remaining WWII Veterans come out to visit and help support the tour.”
Hunter continued, “B-24 Veteran and Leesburg, Florida stop organizer Howard Collins helped celebrate the Foundations’ first 2014 stop by being one of the longest serving volunteer in our history. B-24 Veteran Irwin Stovroff has continued to do an absolutely stellar job getting school groups to visit his stop in Boca Raton, Florida. Irwin was in the 8 th AF, 44 th BG and was shot down over France and became a POW in Stalag Luft 1. He has been invited by France to come back to see the spot where he bailed out of his stricken bomber and captured.” Please help support this organization Vets Helping Heroes. Click Here for more information. “WWII Vet George Roberts came out to see the aircraft and talk with the public when the tour was in Louisiana. Mr. Roberts was a B-17 Vet from the 306 th BG and survived 31 missions. In a chilling single sentence he said, “Schweinfurt was the worst…”
For more information about the Collings Foundation 2014 Wings of Freedom Tour click HERE.
More pics from the tour.
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