Manufactured by the thousands during World War II, less than a dozen B-17 Flying Fortresses are still in service.
One of them, “Aluminum Overcast”, landed in Springfield Thursday for tours and flights. Several veterans turned out at the airport for a VIP tour and one of them, 89-year old Marvin Farmer, says the aircraft that some say turned the tide in Europe, brings back some poignant memories as he fought it out on the ground in Europe.
“We were one of the first troops into Germany,” said Farmer. “We were 40 miles inside Germany when Battle of the Bulge started.”
Farmer was able to take a flight…it was the first time he saw one up close. He credits the aircraft with “saving his butt.”
“We saw those babies flying over going toward Germany, and we’d always say ‘Give ’em hell!’ And we could tell when they further into Germany because you could see artillery bursting up close.”
The aircraft will be at the General Aviation hangar through Monday and will be available for tours.