Skip to comments.World War II Ohio airman takes 'Sentimental Journey' on B-17
Posted on 07/13/2013 5:06:58 AM PDT by Doogle
An Ohio World War II airman who was shot down and captured while flying aboard a B-17 over Europe made another trip on an identical vintage bomber Thursday.
Joseph Dreher, 88, flew 29 missions over Europe on a B-17 as a radio operator and waist gunner with the U.S. 8th Army Air Forces, The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.
Dreher was taken prisoner after parachuting from his flak-damaged aircraft on his 29th and final mission -- an experience that did not deter him from returning to the skies once more.
The B-17 he flew aboard Thursday was the "Sentimental Journey," a bomber maintained by the Commemorative Air Force Arizona Wing Museum in Mesa, the newspaper reported.
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there today, get out there and support them....
How beautiful is that aircraft? Wow!
Historians and fans of the technology may say there were better bombers in WWII, but for me, this one has all others beat on aesthetic grounds.
It’s just a purty piece of airplane.
note: inside quarter cowling painted OD to cut down on glare
..over 12,000 produced, only 39 survive today...
It also had a reputation for bringing its crews home, despite taking terrible damage.
This was flying over our house a couple of weeks ago, but I never had the chance to take the kids to see it. The only day we had it rained. She was loud though!
The B-17 isn’t loud; it purrs. The exhaust from its four radials is muffled by turbochargers.
This one made it back with its tail about to fall off. If I remember correctly, an ME-109 collided with the B-17.
Just barely - only in “ground effect” and light-weight (low on fuel, no guns, no ammo).
Lol, sorry! She purred like a tiger then! The kids would get really excited when they would hear it coming. We were going to buy my dad and the kids a ride for Father’s Day, but then my parents had to cancel thier visit. They would have had a blast.
Its just a purty piece of airplane.
The B24 was supposed to be better, it had a bigger pay load but a lower ceiling IIRC and it was very hard to fly, wore pilots out flying it. The B17 came home after sustaining tremendous damage, it was famous for that trait. To me WWII bombers mean the B17.
World War II Ohio airman takes ‘Sentimental Journey’ on B-17
“A beautiful day and a lot of memories. And the nice thing is, they weren’t shooting at you.”
I love this guy.
God bless him and all of the brave fighting men who have fought for our freedom.
Back in the mid-'90s I worked in Macon, GA, and one day there was a notice that a B-17 bomber was on a state-wide tour and was going to be on display at the airfield.
I've been a big fan of this aircraft for years and have watched just about every film/video on it, so it was a real treat to get a close up look.
I don't remember her being as bright, but the guys did a bang-up job (pun intended) in displaying her. They put those fake bullet hole decals on the nose and tail windows, which looked quite real.
We were allowed to go through the aircraft and I was amazed at how small she was - I felt like I was walking through a narrow culvert. Spent a good half hour talking with the pilot, who said they were leaving the next day. I ended up buying a T-shirt, which I treasure to this day:
The next day I was in a conference when I sensed/heard a familiar drone. I blurted out "That's a B-17!" and ran outside. The plant was near the airfield, so the plane was still pretty low as she took off. As she approached, I took off my ballcap and waved it around in salute. I was in my 60s then and will admit that I nearly wet myself when the pilot waggled his wings in response. I was on air the rest of the day, despite the odd looks from those when I re-entered the conference room.
Thanks for the “Sentimental Journey” ping. I’m glad he got another ride. Beautiful restoration!