World War II B-17 visits Albany - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

World War II B-17 visits Albany

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - An original B-17 bomber will be in Albany this weekend, and you have a chance to take a ride in it.

Staff Sergeant Luther Wise got back in the bomber for the first time in 70 years. The Liberty Foundation and the Memphis Belle are coming through Albany to share the history of Wise and his fellow airmen.

The 92-year old picked up where he left off 7 decades ago in the skies above Germany. His responsibility as a tail gunner was simple.

"Hell I looked for airplanes. Looking for fighters. Them Germans are smart," said Staff Sergeant Luther Wise.

Wise and 9 other men spent 5 months fighting a battle in the air during World War II. Not many of the brave airmen are still around to talk about those times.

"Ain't nobody left but my copilot. He's 95. I talked to him the other day," said Wise.

Wise is a man of few words now, but the emotion and excitement were evident as he manned the gun one more time. The Liberty Foundation wants the legacies' of these men to live on through their program.

"We can never really visit their battlefield. It happened at 25 or 30,000 feet above Germany. So we can never really get that same vantage point. This gives people a little perspective about what it's like," said Volunteer Crew member Keith Youngblood.

The Memphis Belle will be in Albany this Sunday with tours starting at 10 A-M. The cost for a 45 minute flight is $450, but Youngblood says it's worth every penny.

"Every person who gets off the airplane tells us time and time again, worth every penny, bucket list item. And they constantly thank us for doing this," said Youngblood.

The tour gives you a view through the airmen's eyes, with full access to the nose and even out the top and sides of the plane. You can hear stories from the veterans themselves.

For example, how these airmen wore down the Germans in the summer of '44.

"And they shoot them down when they come in to land. They whipped them too. I was there on D-Day and I didn't see a single German fighter," said Wise.

You can find the schedule for the weekend's events here. You can also call the Liberty Foundation at 918-340-0243.

Copyright 2014 WALB. All rights reserved.

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