in early April, 2010. I was driving south on Spur 408, heading home from
some now-forgotten event or appointment. The delightful spring weather cast
light clouds over Mountain Creek Lake, and I lowered the passenger window to
take in some delightful Spring air. Glancing to the right, a shape emerged
from the gray clouds to the west. I nearly lost control of my vehicle. ?What
the hell??? I did not have to add ?is that,? for I knew exactly what it was.
It was a World War II vintage B-24 heavy bomber growling low above the lake,
headed, I guessed, for Love Field in Dallas.
stunned, my jaw dropped again when the same clouds revealed a B-17! What was
going on? The news media explained later that evening. The planes had moved
from Arlington airport to Dallas Love Field for the Collingsworth
Foundation?s continuing exhibition of vintage aircraft. Based in
Massachusetts, the exhibition moves throughout the lower 48 during the year.
The next day
I paid my admission to the Fantasy of Flight Museum at Love Field. Passing
through the museum?s impressive exhibits (I made up for that later.), I
purchased a ticket which would permit access to the warships beyond the
fence. My target was the ?Witchcraft,? as they had painted it, a legendary
B-24. (This plane had been sold by the British to India, but the Foundation
paints it in honor of famous planes from the war.) Quickly, I found my way
to the waist-gunner positions. My dad had spent a great deal of time at this
position at the right window. Passing through the narrow bomb-bay, I reached
his other position, radio operator, right behind the co-pilot.
several pictures, but I did not fly that day. The program of flying these
ships around the country is sustained by passengers who pay $450 for a
20-minute flight. I saved my money. I visited them again in St. Petersburg,
Florida. Then in March of this year (2011) they returned to Love Field. IT
WAS WORTH EVERY PENNY!!! It may seem expensive, but it is your only
opportunity to get a taste of what your father or grandfather experienced in
one of these roaring craft. Check here (http://www.collingsfoundation.org/cf_schedule-wof.htm)
for the 2012 schedule. WW II veterans can enjoy the exhibitions free of