HATTIESBURG, MS. (WJTV) – The B–17 Flying Fortress and B-24 Liberator World War Two bombers as well as two P-51D fighters touched down at Bobby L. Chain Municipal airport today.
Hattiesburg is the latest stop on the Collings Foundation’s national “Wings of Freedom Tour”.
Over the next few days, people will get the opportunity to tour and ride in these planes and see what it was like to be part of the flight crew back in world war two.
“They can take flights and get up in the air. We’ll take them around Hattiesburg for a half an hour and you really get an experience of the danger that these veterans experienced every moment in these planes,” said Matt Martin, Hattiesburg’s tour stop coordinator
Martin says these tours are an important part of preserving history, and encourages people to come out and see these planes before they’re gone.
“Every day, we’re losing hundreds of World War Two veterans,” said Martin. “And if we don’t keep, not only these planes alive, but the stories that the World War Two veterans bring with them when they come out and see these planes, we’ll lose them. And that would just be a tragic piece of history.”
Timothy Conklin was one of the many people excited to take a tour. Conklin said he is looking forward to flying in the very same B-24 bomber that his grandfather did in World War Two.
“I’m here to fly on my grandpa’s plane. He flew 59 missions in the South Pacific in New Guinea, and I want to fly in the tail-gunner’s spot to see what it was like,” said Conklin. “It’s going to be awesome; I can say I’m flying the 60th mission in his honor.”
People looking to take a walk through tour can pay $15 for adults and $5 for children under 12.
A 30-minute flight in the b-17 or b-24, costs $400 per person.
The tours will continue on Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 pm and on Wednesday from 9 a.m. till noon.