On Mon., June 21, three World War II bombers will fly into Pierce County’s Tacoma Narrows Airport as part of the Collings Foundation Wings of Freedom Tour. The 110 city tour pays tribute to America’s war effort from 1942 to 1945. Opening ceremonies begin at 2 p.m. Monday. The bombers will be on display until 5 p.m. on Mon., June 21, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tues., June 22 and 9 a.m. to noon on Weds., June 23. Tacoma Narrows Airport is located off SR 16 at 1202 26th Ave. N.W., in Gig Harbor.
The warbirds include heavy bombers Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress “Nine O Nine” and Consolidated B-24 Liberator “Witchcraft,” and the escort fighter P-51 Mustang “Betty Jane.” The B-17 is one of only nine in flying condition in the United States, and the B-24 and P-51 Mustang are the sole remaining examples of their type flying in the world. The B-17 was the companion of the B-24 in thousands of wartime bombing and reconnaissance missions. Together they were the backbone of the daylight strategic bombing campaign of WWII.
A $12 donation for adults and $6 for children ages 12 and under is requested for up-close viewing and tours. Ground tours are free to WWII veterans. Flight experiences are available in all aircraft for a tax-deductible donation of $425 per person for the B-17 or B-24 and $2,200 for a half hour in the P-51, or $3,200 for a full hour.
The Collings Foundation is a non-profit, educational foundation created to organize and support American “living history” events. For more information, visit http://www.collingsfoundation.org/ .