B-17 Flying Fortress on display in Jackson - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

B-17 Flying Fortress on display in Jackson

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By Bert Case - bio | email

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - One of the airplanes credited with helping the United States win World War II, is now on display in Jackson.

The B-17 was used primarily in the European Theatre, bombing Germany from bases in England and Italy.

There were more than 12,000 B-17's made, and now there are only six left that fly on a regular basis.

The B-17 G model flew into Hawkins Field Tuesday and will stay through Wednesday, paying tribute to World War II veterans, and being available for people who want to fly in it for $425 or walk through it for five dollars.

Bill Reddock of Jackson, flew 1,400 hours in a B-17 in World War II.

Reddock flew this machine in combat in temperatures 30 to 40 below, wearing an oxygen mask, with people shooting at him from the ground and other airplanes.

"That was our job, you know we were patriotic in those days, it's not like today. Everybody tried to do their part to protect our country. It's the thing you don't have today, people that love this country," Reddock said.

The B-17 in Jackson is owned by the Experimental Aircraft Association out of Ohio.

Another former pilot was Charles Hull, 89, a native of Winona, who now lives in Madison County.

"185 B-17's were met by 300 fighters, like a swarm of bees. That was my 11th mission, I knew I had to finish 25, but I made it," Hull said.

The pilot now flying the airplane is Danny Bowlin, 65, a retired airline pilot from Memphis.

"And it's a wonderful thing, I meet vets every place I go, and they are so happy to see us," Bowlin said.

The airplane is exactly like those that flew in combat, but it never was in combat.

It was made in May of 1945, and that is the month and year the Germans surrendered.

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