My B24 ride

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Pacific Historian
Jun 4, 2005
Orange County, CA
Back in May 1995, I had the opportunity to ride the Collings Foundation B24 on Armed Forces day.

The plane was visiting the Torrance, California municiple airport (this is located about 5 miles south of LAX) with its stable mate, the B17G.

I signed up for a slot that by fate took me on the flight that was going to do a flyby down the city of Torrance during their annual armed forces day parade. After takeoff, I made my way forward and watched from the cockpit as the pilots got into formation with the B17. Our formation point was over Carson, right over the Goodyear blimp base.

After we were ready, we went down to 500 ft and 200 knots down Torrance Blvd. After we cleared the parade area, we continued west to pass over the Redondo Beach pier. From there, we gained altitude and after a bit, we set course for Catalina Island, some 50 miles due south.

We passed over the center of the island and then dropped down on the deck for the return leg home. Best part of that was the pilots spotted a yacht along the way, and we buzzed him at 50-100 feet, 200+ knots!!!!!. The people on the boat must have been wondering if they wer ein a time warp, hahahahahahhaha.

We gained altitude after that, and then got into the approach pattern for Torrance airport, above the Port of Los Angeles.

It was one heck of a ride!!!!!!!!!!!

Best part, was there was an old gentleman along for the ride. He looked somber and most of the time he had a "1000 yard stare" on him. After the flight I asked him if anything was wrong. His reply was something like this...."In 1942, I entered the navy as a young man, not far from here. I served as a gunner on a PB4Y during the war years. It dawned on me when we took off, that my last flight in one of them was in May 1945. Its like I feel my life has come around in a full circle today". That sent goosebumps up my spine!!!!!!!


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Pics of the B17 in formation with us


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Heres some more


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Some more


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Final shots of the plane and aircrew.

And yes, thats me when I was 10 years younger.

By the way, did you know that Schlitz beer is mighty fine?


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I did it because I suspected some "guests" would steal my pics for their own uses.

If anyone wants a pix without the copywrite, let me know. I would be happy to send what you want.
I have never had a problem with people stealing images from me here on this site, but I have from others. In a lot of cases though, at 640x480, they may bag them for their personal use, but it won't do much for anything other than viewing.


Youre supposed to comment on the pics, not my spelling! Like how the best bomber of WW2 (B29 excepted) is also named after a fine beer from Wisconsin.
That "fine beer" hasn't been made in Wisconsin in over 20 years. Schlitz moved to Longview Texas in 1981.

And yes, believe it or not, misspelling copyright is indeed a loophole. Just adding the text to the photo does not necessarily make it legally binding for a challenge either.

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