Ninety year-old George McLeod was 24 when he first flew a B-17 bomber from a base in England to military and industrial targets in Germany in 1944. He and a co-pilot would lift the plane, sometimes in the dark of night, laden with 2,800 gallons of fuel and 4-6,000 pounds of bombs, flying upwards of 25,000 feet in weather that was fifty below zero.
“The worst of flying a loaded bomber were night takeoffs, because you had to get the load off the ground,” said McLeod as he waited for the Sentimental Journey, a restored 1944 era B-17 heavy bomber, developed by Boeing in the thirties, which was to be arriving at the Skagit Regional Airport any minute.
“It took two people to bring the plane to fly. You had to watch your instrument panel.”The four engine aircraft touched down on the runway, interrupting McLeod’s reminiscing.
"There she is," he said under the heavy rumble of the plane, visibly moved. "How would you like to hear a thousand of those over head?"
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