War Bird

Here is something else that happened recently and it was something to experience and to see.  I had to go to town to get some software.  While I was in town I came across something pretty amazing, or at least to me, I thought it was an incredible sight.

It was a veteran of World War II, a big Boeing 17 (B-17) similar to the one in the above photograph (The Mona Lisa) a beautiful War Bird making lazy circles in the Oklahoma sky.  There were a little over 12,000 of these magnificent aircraft built at a cost of around $238,000 each and I believe there are only 13 left in flying condition as of 2011.

If you would care to read more about this work horse of the European and Pacific theaters, you can look here.

What I found so incredible today was the mere thought of something built in the 1930’s and the 1940’s (first introduction of the aircraft to the war department) and it is still up there in the air, making long slow passes over Oklahoma City.  I have an uncle who was a waist gunner on one out of Siapan, and as he put, working in the outfit that won the war (Army Air Corps).

As I understand it, some of them were actually here during the war to be retrofitted with extra machine gun turrets at Tinker Air Force base.  They were a huge success until the German Luftwaffe figured out what was going on, and then they stopped coming in head-on.  Assuming this plane I saw this day was built for The European Theater and it came off the line in 1942, that would make it something like 69 years old.  Pretty good run for anyone or anything in my books.

Often I hear of the “glory days” and “America is past its prime,” garbage like that, but here is living proof, American made and still doing the job.  We can get the job done, we just have to focus, apply ourselves, cut the fat, and roll up our sleeves.  America can still be all that she is supposed to be … saying we are in the dumper, well, that dog just doesn’t hunt …We did it before … and we can do it again.