KINGSFORD — The third Friday in September is reserved for Veterans to honor prisoners of war and those who were never recovered. This year there was a big surprise for the vets. ABC Ten’s Sarah Mac was on location today with the vets as they looked towards the skies.
Today at the Ford Airport in Kingsford the Yankee Lady, a B–17 bomber plane from World War II, flew in for a visit. Veterans and their families were invited to see the landing and for a close look. World War II vets and prisoners of war, even some who worked on and flew those types of planes, were in attendance.
Ninety–year–old World War II and POW Vet John Moddie says, “It’s nice to see the plane again. I saw a lot of them when I was in Germany, and I saw a lot of them get shot down, too. I haven’t seen them in well, like I said, it’s been probably 70 years now. And the ceremony, I like the ceremony, I com here every year. They always have a nice ceremony.”
The plane took nine years to restore and flies to several locations every year east of the Mississippi.
Yankee Air Museums Yankee Lady Chief Mechanic Paul Hakala says, “It takes a lot of time, a lot of volunteers, we’re always working on it, always working on the engines, chasing down minor oil leaks; and then when the aircraft goes down after the flying season we do major maintenance inspections on the aircraft and again a lot of man hours.”
If you’ve flown before, you know that airfare isn’t always cheap, but imagine this bill – it costs $3,000 an hour to fly this classic B–17 bomber.
After the plane landed there was a ceremony at the airport with prayers, poems and songs to honor POW’S, those missing in action and their families.
Community members of all ages gathered together with their families to share and discuss this piece of history.
According to the crew chief, community members could even take a ride in the plane – the ride would last about 30 minutes and costs about $450.