RAYMOND, Miss. – If you saw a B-17 fly over the capital city Monday, you do not have to worry about WWII waging war on the future, but you may want to look forward to taking a tour of the Memphis Belle this weekend at the John Bell Williams airport in Raymond.
“This was originally a World War II Airport, that was built in 1943, so this is kind of a heritage coming home,” said airport manager Michelle Jackson.
News Mississippi was part of Monday’s flight; from gun torrents to the cockpit the experience was unbelievable. The Liberty Foundation’s B-17 is one of the only 13 B-17s that still in flight today. It was made at the end of the WWII and used as a cargo ship before its appearance in the1990 movie, the Memphis Belle. The actual Memphis Belle dropped bombs in WWII.
“This airplane is what made the difference (in the war); this was the largest bomber of the day,” said Pilot John Hess.
“When you see the control cables throughout the airplane, how manual it is, the way it was built, and the fact that they would be up in it for so many hours at a time in freezing conditions while being shot at - It really makes you appreciate what they were doing for us. They were only 20 years old maybe.”
You can get a chance to take a look at the B-17 this Saturday and Sunday in Raymond. You can even make reservations for a flight. The $450 cost goes to the Liberty Foundation.
"Our main mission is to honor the veterans, and the way we can do that is to show this plane to the general public."