Personal Story Web Links
Each year EAA's B-17 Aluminum Overcast touches the lives of thousands of people.
Some of them have even created web pages to share their experience -click on
the links below to pay them a visit!
Note - These links will take you off EAA's B-17 website. If you
have created a website about EAA's B-17, please
let us know so it can be added to the list.
Lewis E. Johnson
As a veteran of the European theater of operations I spent the last year of my tour of duty in England in preparation for the Normandy invasion. I served in the U.S. Naval Amphibious Forces with landings in Africa, Sicily, Italy and then Omaha Beach on “D” day. Needless to say there were some rather exciting experiences during those operations … (more)
I wish to make known my appreciation to the EAA. You made it possible for my husband and I to fulfill a lifelong dream! I have at last flown in a B-17. I took a flight today, June 24, at Hinkley Field in Utah. Your staff may remember the crazy little English lady…that is me I was so excited. My husband took many photos so that I may see them and remember – again – the wonder of that flight … (more)
Thank you for making a 60-year old dream of mine come true. I have been in love with the B-17 Flying Fortress since I was eight years old and saw the first picture of one. I was eight when Pearl Harbor was attacked. The attack was engraved into my memory so well that it is still as real to me today as it was on December 7, 1941. I can still repeat President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s declaration of war, word for word … (more)
I had the opportunity to fly on the Aluminum Overcast last Thursday in Spokane, WA.
I want to thank all the people who made that possible. My dad was a Top Turret Gunner and Flight Engineer who flew 34 missions over Europe. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Clusters and the Air Medal. This was, for me a way to make some kind of touch with what for him was a pivotal period of his life. He died in 1972, and although he talked some about his experiences, I wanted to know more of what it was like. He was always so proud that he had been on a B17 crew. As I stood at one of the waist guns I was struck by how vulnerable these guys were. Only the thin skin of the plane to “protect” them. What a job they did!
Thank you again for making it possible for me to have that experience.
Idaho Falls, ID
The “Aluminum Overcast” left Idaho Falls this morning after three days of flying and static displays. I want you to know how thankful and privileged we were to have the aircraft in our city. I made three visits to the ramp with any friends I could find to show them the plane. I knew when it arrived Monday by just listening to the sound of the engines as it flew overhead, preparing to land. Some goosebumps and a few tears. I have a deep appreciation for the history it helped to shape.
Again, thank you for the opportunity our city had.
My father-in-law, Ray Hobbs of Ogden, Utah, flew in your B-17 today during the stopover in Ogden. From his comments and those of his wife and children who were present at the airport, today no doubt was amount the happiest days of his life in the last 50 years.
As a former B-17 pilot who arrived in England just as the ware ended in Europe in the spring of 1945. Ray loves that airplane and had dreamed of going back up in one of them since he left the service in 1946 … (more)
Menomonee Falls, MI
As a college student in my hometown of Oshkosh, WI, home of the EAA, I enrolled in the “Civilian Pilot Training Course”, at the ripe old age of 20! My instructor was none other than Steve Wittman, of “Bonzo” and “Chief Oshkosh” fame, as well as being the eventual namesake of the airfield that the EAA now calls home.
In 1942 I enlisted in the US Army Air Corps, eventually flying as a bombardier with the 305 BG (H), 364th squadron, assigned to the U.S. 8th Air Force. After flying our B-17 (F) to England, via the great northern route, we found ourselves based out of Chelveston England … (more)
I would like to thank you for the experience of flying in a B-17. I would also like to pass on a heart-felt thank you to the crew that was visiting Hutchinson, KS.
My father, Melvin Fast, who is a WWII vet, (a gunner in a B-17), and myself were planning to fly in the B-17 in Hutchinson. He has recently been hospitalized and our plans were changed … (more)
Reflections on an Unusual Flight
Friday and this weekend brought relief from two weeks of biblical deluges and flooding in Indiana. Temperatures have been comfortably warm, the skies only partly cloudy, and breezes moderate. Everything is a deep, rich, early summer green.
Today, I saw that Indiana green from a new vantage. An aviation foundation brought its restored WWII B-17 bomber (think: Memphis Belle) to a nearby rural airport, and I dug deeply into my wallet for a half-hour ride. The inside of a B-17 may look large in the movies, but in reality, it's cramped, and one moves around stooped over and constantly bumping into aluminum. The noise inside is monstrous, and earplugs made it possible to enjoy the ride … (more)
When I was 11 years old, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor plunged the United States into World War II. Colin Kelly’s heroics in a B-17 caught my eye…and my heart! The B-17 became the aircraft of the war, for me.
When I read in the newspaper about the young men, boys really, a lot of them flying from the airfields of East Anglia, in England to brave war torn skies over Europe against Luftwaffe, their bravery and the incredible ability of improved models of the B-17, to get those boys to the target, and get them back again to their home base made me a firm believer in the strength of this great warbird. And I had my own dream to fly in a B-17 … (more)
On August 23, 2003 I went for a ride in the B-17. It was quite a treat! My brother, also a WWII veteran, and I had a tough job finding the Lawrence, MA airport…good thing we left early. I wore my D.A.V. Commanders uniform & hat and my brother wore his American Legion hat.
There was about 7 or 8 people to check us in and act as our guides. I assume they were volunteers from EAA. They are very nice people and deserve a lot of credit for doing their jobs so well and in such a nice manner…God bless them … (more)
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