CAHOKIA, Ill. (KMOX) – One of only a few B-17 bombers left carried veterans and their families over Cahokia and East St. Louis.
The plane was used in World War II. Veterans told stories of the planes being landed with two out of four engines shot out, holes in the wings and body.
Many were excited to take the trip, but those who served look at the plane differently, some with sad nostalgia. One veteran looked at the plane that he would ride on Saturday. Veteran Phil Hulse said it was the first time he’d ride one in 68 years.
It was 80 degrees or more on the ground when people boarded the first flight at 9:30 am, but once in the air, it was cool and breezy, because the top window of the plane was open. The B-17 easily fit ten, with the original seats intact. Riders could get up and walk about the plane after takeoff. The ride only lasted about 15 minutes.
This was part of the air show for the Fourth of July holiday.