CAF Arizona Airbase B-17G "Sentimental Journey" flying low over the Arizona desert. (Image by Tony Granata).

CAF Arizona Airbase B-17G “Sentimental Journey” flying low over the Arizona desert. (Image by Tony Granata).

By Aviation Enthusiasts LLC

Seventy-nine years ago today, the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress took flight for the first time.  One of the most important bombers in history, the B-17 fought in every theater of World War II and won immortality in epic daylight battles against the Luftwaffe.  The Flying Fortress was America’s main strategic weapon in Europe, operating from more than 25 airfields in the south and east of England.  The B-17 was immensely strong and aircraft managed to return to base with severe battle damage.  Flying Fortresses soldiered on after World War II, being used in transport, air-sea rescue and photo-reconnaissance roles.

Here is a photo of the Liberty Foundation’s B-17G Flying Fortress “Liberty Belle” at the 2010 Thunder Over Michigan Air Show.  Liberty Belle was destroyed by fire following an emergency landing on June 13, 2011.  We are thankful there was no loss of life involved and we wish the Liberty Foundation well as they continue with the restoration and flying of World War II aircraft.

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