Chance to relive history

Posted: Tuesday, July 10, 2001

Right, a restored B-17 "Nine-O-Nine" makes its final approach to Juneau International airport Monday. The B-17 and another World War II aircraft, a B-24 "Dragon and His Tail," came to Juneau this week on the Wings of Freedom tour, which is giving Juneau residents a chance to step on board the historic planes.


Left, Alex Roesch of Anchorage stands in front of the restored B-24 after its arrival on Monday. Roesch was the co-pilot aboard the B-24 for its flight from Anchorage to Juneau.

In visiting Alaska, the two airplanes have returned to a classic battlefront.

"Alaska was a frontier in World War II, at least in the Pacific theater," said Bob Collings, founder of the non-profit Collings Foundation. The foundation, which sponsored the visit, aims to educate Americans about their history. The two planes - now on their second trip to Juneau - are available for tours and possible flights from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. today and 8:30 a.m. to noon Wednesday. The foundation requests a $7 donation from adults and a $3 donation from children. Flights can be arranged for a $350 tax-deductible donation. The planes are lodged at the Juneau airport.

"We were very pleased with the response we got from people in Alaska," Collings said. "They were very interested in the planes and very excited about the possibility of taking a ride."

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