Sunday, September 8, 2013

Look--Up in the Sky a B-17 Apears

The Movie Memphis Belle B-17 over Baltimore
 on September 7, 2013
Imagine my surprise as I saw low in the horizon a flying silhouette that I had never before seen airborne. Yet, there it was, flying over downtown Baltimore--a blast from the past. It was almost as if a living dinosaur had come upon the scene.

Actually, Chris saw it first and asked me what it was--I could not believe what I was seeing: four propeller driven engines driving what is truly my most favorite airplane--yes, a B-17 Flying Fortress was flying over the city. Not once, but twice, which is good because the first time I was driving and could not stop to take a picture. The second time I was at the afternoon Orioles game and it flew across the sun almost blinding me.

There it was straight out of World War II. I knew in my heart that it must be operating out of Martin State Airport and I later determined that it was--The Movie Memphis Belle was flying above my head and into my heart.

The droning of the engines was powerful and awesome. I could only imagine the fear created by the raids of hundreds of these fearlessly crewed bombers flying together over Europe during the strategic bombing campaign of WW2. 

I was in awe of this flying piece of history. I was honored to see one of the last survivors of air armadas created during WW2 flying and treating me to a moment of history.

Its excursions over the city were all too short. But it was there over Baltimore and the Orioles game. 

How fitting, how dramatic, how historical. The bomber that was instrumental in winning the war in Europe was flying for me to see and appreciate. And I later learned that for a mere $450, I too could fly in this piece of living history. 

If only!

In the end, I realized that just hearing and seeing this magnificent aircraft in flight was truly a dream come true.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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