Stan’s Obligatory Blog

Happy Thanksgiving

4/26/2003

Bombers in Burbank – 2003

Filed under: — stan @ 8:01 pm

We went to Burbank Airport today to see the two restored World War II bombers again. These are the same ones we saw back in 1998. We took Lucinda along, and she had fun
climbing back and forth through the airplanes.

We also got to meet some more veterans of the war. One man had been the radio operator on a B-17 in Europe. The second had been the flight engineer on a B-24 in Italy near the end of the war. He said that his job involved mostly taking care of the fuel tanks to keep the airplane balanced. He also told us about building a little ‘igloo’ out of flak jackets to hide in when the plane was under fire. They both said that flying in combat was a horrendously frightening thing. But at the same time, they felt like they were fortunate in a way. When they weren’t flying, they were safe back at the base, eating good food and sleeping in real beds. They felt that this was better than being in the Infantry and being shot at all the time.

For more on this, see the page about the other time we saw these planes: cosmo.pasadena.ca.us/adventures/airshow

Also, for B-17 history, see www.softwhale.com/history/b-17/b-17-home.html

To get a little idea what it was like flying in these planes, see “Exerpts from the diary of a B-17 ball turret gunner” at www.cloudnet.com/~jfb

Finally, just to add a special non-sequiter to the day, we heard a roaring jet engine just outside of the plane. Being at the airport, we weren’t too surprised by this until we got out and saw that it was actually a motorcycle. It was Jay Leno, stopping by for a visit. So very L.A.

Finally, we stopped off for a nice dinner out at Cafe Bizou.

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