‘Wings of Freedom’ brings WWII planes to Worcester, Mass

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September 14, 2012, 7:15 pm
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(NECN: Katelyn Tivnan, Worcester, Mass.) - The “Wings of Freedom” Tour, featuring not only World War II planes, but two World War II pilots, touched down at Worcester Airport for a four-day event.

Rare pieces of history are touching down at the Worcester Regional Airport.

Friday crowds watched the World War II aircraft land as part of the Collings Foundation's “Wings of Freedom” Tour.

The cargo on board included a handful of veterans such as Robert Patterson

Now 91, Patterson piloted a B-17 during the war. Shot down overseas on his second mission he went on to fly 23 more.

This was his first time back in a Flying Fortress since 1945.

 “It felt good,” he said. “It was good airplane it won the war I think.”

The tour also includes the only fully restored B-24 Liberator flying in the world, as well as the only P-51 Mustang with a dual cockpit.

For veterans, viewing the planes brings them back to their days of flying. The exhibit also introduces other generations to the eras the planes come from.

 “It gave me a greater appreciation of what the men of that generation had to fly in to bring the war to Germany,” said Ken Gajewski.

 “There was one guy inside who said he flew in one of these and its awesome to see that history,” said Greg Oire.

Ken Gajewski also had the chance to fly Friday.

He says it's a first-hand look at history like he’s never seen before.

“It’s living history and there will come a time when there aren't any flying machines of that era. I think it's a great opportunity for people to comes out and look at these airplanes.”

Patterson says he is proud to see the foundation is helping keep history alive.

“I think it’s wonderful,” Patterson said. “I really do, shows a lot of respect for the men.”

But he does say the flight was a bit different than those he's flown in the past

“I wasn't worried about German fighters,” he said.

 

Tags: massachusetts, Worcester, Worcester Regional Airport, World War II, Wings of Freedom
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