Originally filmed August 2009
Another POV from Stefi Weaver, a producer that was on the other bomber: “I’ve never been one for planes. I get motion sickness way too easily, but I thought, hey, it shouldn’t be that bad…at least I’ll have co-workers around me to cushion my fears. Let me tell you, I literally thought I was going to pass out. First off, we’re sitting on the floor of the plane, strapped into these little chairs, and things around us are rattling as we take off. The blood is draining from my face as we hit a higher altitude. Once we’re airborne, everyone is excited to take off their seat belts and go to the front of the plane to see what it looks like through the nose of the plane…not me. I’m basically grasping (with white knuckles) to the open(!) window, trying not to lose my lunch. So this is what it looked like from my point of view (that was the plane that Jay was in):
And suddenly it hits me…this is the exact view that they had in WWII…except they were fighting for the freedom I now selfishly enjoy. This was the closest thing to a history lesson I would ever be apart of. The view, the knots in my stomach, the air coming in the window…how lucky was I to be a part of this?! Here’s a shot of the bomber I was in, from Jay’s POV: (see that little window near the tail section? You might be able to see my blood-drained face…)
Once we landed and disembarked, I kissed the ground (literally) and the blood that had left my face returned. And although my co-workers still make fun of the fact that I was completely out of my element on that plane ride (white knuckles and all), I will never forget how truly proud and honored I was to be able to feel a part of history…and how truly thankful I was to all the veterans, past and present, who fight for the very freedom I enjoy. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I will remember forever.
Update: The Collings Foundation usually makes a stop at the Chicago Executive Airport (formally Palwaukee Airport) sometime in August or September. Be sure to stop by and tour the insides of these magnificent living history bombers.
More Info: Want to fly on a B-24 bomber? Check out the Collings Foundation’s website
Find out more about the Honor Flight Network here.