This is a press release from Wings of Freedom Tour.
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Hattiesburg next week. Historic B-17, B-24, and B-25 bombers will be accompanied by a P-51D fighter when they fly into the Bobby L. Chain Municipal Airport in the Hattiesburg Industrial Park as part of the Collings Foundation’s 110-city Wings of Freedom Tour from March 5-7.
“This is an extraordinary opportunity to visit, explore, and learn more about these unique and rare treasures of aviation history which formed the backbone of the American effort during the war,” said Hunter Chaney, Marketing Director for the Collins Foundation.
“The B-17 Flying Fortress is one of only nine in flying condition in the United States, and the B-24J Liberator is the sole remaining example of its type flying in the world.” The non-profit Collings Foundation tours the country with the planes as flying tributes to the flight crews that flew them; the ground crews that maintained them; the workers that built them; the soldiers, sailors and airmen they helped protect; and the citizens and families that share the freedom they helped preserve.
“The aircraft touring with the Collings Foundation are reminders of a difficult era in American history,” said Tommy Lofton, Director of the Mississippi Armed Forces Museum at Camp Shelby.
“They are like traveling museums that provide lessons of courage, struggle, and extreme sacrifice during World War II.“ After the war, most aircraft were scrapped for their raw metal to rebuild the nation in post-war prosperity, so very few were spared.
The rarity of these planes and their importance in telling the story of WWII is why the Collings Foundation has continued to fly and display them nationwide for the last 30 years. Visitors are invited to explore the aircraft, which have been restored to 1944 combat configuration. Walk-through tours of the planes are available for a $15 donation for adults and $5 donation for children under 12.
There are discounted rates for school groups and World War II veterans tour for free. For those looking to experience what it might have been like to be a crew member in one of these historic warbirds, take a 30-minute flight in the B-17 or B-24 for a $450 per person donation, or $400 per person in the B-25. Pilots looking for some “stick time” in the world’s greatest fighter can pay $2,200 for a half hour or $3,200 for an hour of training in the P-51.
All donations are tax deductible. Call 800.568.8924 for reservations and information on flight experiences or visit collingsfoundation.org. Visit bombsaway.info or facebook.com/wingsoffreedomhattiesburg for current Hattiesburg Tour Stop information and follow @FlyHattiesburg on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Tour Stop updates and flight schedules.