The Wings of Freedom Tour is sponsored by the Collings Foundation, a non-profit group that flies these planes around the country for people to experience. It was a gorgeous day at the airfield with sunny blue skies. Moffett Field used to be a Naval air station but is now a joint civil-military airport owned and operated by the NASA Ames Research Center.
You may wonder what inspired me to attend this event. One of my favorite movie genres has always been WWII. It's probably because my dad was in the war that I developed this interest but I've always been intrigued by these movies and the historical events of the time. This was a chance to see and tour the planes that were are part of our living history.
The planes included a P-51 Mustang, single seat fighter. For $2,200, you could go up in this plane for a 30 minute flight. At least two of these flights took off while I was there. The cost is tax deductible and goes towards the care and maintenance to keep these planes flying across America for us to see. This little plane was beautifully maintained, it looked shiny and new.
The second plane was a B-17 bomber also known as a Flying Fortress. There was quite a line to go through this plane and it wasn't moving very fast, so I went over to the other plane, the B-24 Liberator. While you enter at the front of the plane for the B-17, the B-24 is different in that you can only enter through the tail end. With only a few people over there, up I went up into the plane. There was a very narrow catwalk over the bomb area inside and I could not imagine how those men with their heavy jackets and parachutes could get through there. It was actually a bit claustrophobic inside.
I listened and talked to some of the men (currently in their eighties and nineties) as they told of their experiences flying over Europe and Asia. One was shot down towards the end of the war and spent 90 days as a POW in Germany. There were POW's from other countries in there as well. The day the Americans liberated that camp, he said the Russians went into town to get drunk while the French left en masse, coming back with a goat which they then barbecued.