WWII Aviators Reunite with Vintage Bomber in Olathe May 31, June 1 and 2
Olathe, Kansas (May 15, 2019)- It’s been nearly 75 years since America’s combat veterans came home to from Europe to put World War II behind them, but on May 31 three Olathe-area men will step back into their past when the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) B-17 Texas Raiders arrives at New Century Airport on May 31st.
Dan Fedynich flew 33 combat missions manning the ball turret in a B-17 bomber over Berlin, Munich, Leipzig, and the rocket facilities at Peenemunde, Germany. Burton Madison was a turret gunner on B-24 Liberators, flying clandestine missions over occupied Europe dropping supplies, equipment, and key personnel to the French resistance. Bill Davis flew an astonishing 68 combat missions in P-51 Mustangs protecting heavy bombers over Germany and occupied Europe, receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross for his time flying the "Little Friend" escort fighters. All three veterans will reunite with the most iconic aircraft of World War II during the Warbird Expo on May 31st and June 1st and 2nd.
The U.S. built over 12,700 B-17s and only nine are actively flying today. The CAF B-17 Texas Raiders was the first Flying Fortress to be restored solely for the purpose of education and use as a flying museum, and is one of the most accurately restored B-17’s, bristling with machine guns and featuring period-specific equipment. Joining the Flying Fortress will be Olathe’s own open-cockpit PT-13 Stearman Kaydet, the training aircraft in which thousands of airmen first learned to fly. Both the iconic bomber and the colorful trainer will offer cockpit tours and flights to the public.
The Warbird Expo is presented by the CAF Heart of America Wing and New Century Air Center, and the public is invited to enjoy on-board tours with the aircraft crew, or to take the ultimate Living History Flight Experience and see Kansas from the sky! Join the CAF Heart of America Wing, 6 Aero Plaza, New Century, KS 66031. Tours of the aircraft are $10 for adults, $5 for children or $20 for a family of up to five members. Flights on the Flying Fortress start at $475, flights on the Stearman Kaydet are $249. Tours will be available from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Friday May 31, and from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.on Saturday and Sunday June 1 and 2, excluding flying times. Those who wish to fly can call 1-855-FLY-A-B17 (1-855-359-2217) or reserve on line at www.B17TexasRaiders.org.
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