Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

B-17 Down, All Escape
Avweb ^ | 6-13-2011 | Mary Grady, Glenn Pew

Posted on 06/13/2011 5:27:01 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants

The "Liberty Belle," a B-17 Flying Fortress operated by the Liberty Foundation of Florida, was destroyed by fire after the crew made an emergency landing in a cornfield in Illinois about 10 a.m. Monday morning. All seven people on board escaped without injury, according to the NTSB, but the airplane was a total loss. The B-17 had taken off from Aurora Municipal Airport near Oswego, Ill., and the pilot reported a fire on board shortly after takeoff. Several residents reported seeing the plane flying low with smoke and flames coming from it. "[The pilot] attempted to make a return to the airport, but couldn't make it so he put it down in a cornfield," local fire chief Marty Kunkel told the Beacon News. The field was about three to four miles southeast of the airport, the NTSB said.

(Excerpt) Read more at avweb.com ...


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: b17; burn; crash; flyingfortress
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051 next last
A sad ending to a great aircraft.
1 posted on 06/13/2011 5:27:08 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Blood of Tyrants

The B17 is still saving lives. A great aircraft.


2 posted on 06/13/2011 5:31:25 PM PDT by skeeter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Blood of Tyrants

...feel the sadness for all involved. The dedication and skill the people have to restore and maintain aircraft history for us all to enjoy.


3 posted on 06/13/2011 5:34:09 PM PDT by Doogle ((USAF.68-73..8th TFW Ubon Thailand..never store a threat you should have eliminated))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Blood of Tyrants

Sad to lose a classic old bird like that.

Glad everyone got out safely.


4 posted on 06/13/2011 5:34:31 PM PDT by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open ( <o> ---)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Blood of Tyrants

Glad the crew escaped. What a tragic loss of a piece American history. After 25 combat missions over Europe in WWII she has to meet her fate in an Illinois cornfield. Very depressing.


5 posted on 06/13/2011 5:35:26 PM PDT by Graneros (I want to go peacefully like my Dad did, in his sleep -- not screaming, like his passengers.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Blood of Tyrants

“, but the airplane was a total loss.”

Every salvagable part will be saved and be useful for the remaining airworthy B-17s, looks like the engines are intact for the most part.


6 posted on 06/13/2011 5:37:50 PM PDT by wolficatZ (Somebody once wrote "Revenge is a dish that has to be eaten cold".)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Blood of Tyrants
Well, damn.


7 posted on 06/13/2011 5:40:52 PM PDT by Charles Martel (Endeavor to persevere...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: wolficatZ
I don't know if she needs any parts...

But its nice to know we got extra.

8 posted on 06/13/2011 5:44:10 PM PDT by jaz.357 (Find a way or make one.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Blood of Tyrants; mad_as_he$$

Good news, bad news...


9 posted on 06/13/2011 5:47:55 PM PDT by sasquatch
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Graneros

She wasn’t the original Memphis Belle but was built in 1944.


10 posted on 06/13/2011 5:49:25 PM PDT by GAB-1955 (I write books, love my wife, serve my nation, and believe in the Resurrection.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: GAB-1955

I thought I knew the story of the Memphis Belle. Obviously not. Thanks for the info. Do you know what happened to the original?


11 posted on 06/13/2011 5:53:01 PM PDT by Graneros (I want to go peacefully like my Dad did, in his sleep -- not screaming, like his passengers.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: GAB-1955

Guess I need to pay a little closer attention. It wasn’t the Memphis Belle that crashed but the Liberty Belle. Never heard of that one. Still a sad loss.


12 posted on 06/13/2011 5:59:35 PM PDT by Graneros (I want to go peacefully like my Dad did, in his sleep -- not screaming, like his passengers.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Graneros

I don’t know. I’ll be interested in finding out. My Uncle Bob flew 55 missions over Europe in a B-17F and -G.


13 posted on 06/13/2011 6:02:08 PM PDT by GAB-1955 (I write books, love my wife, serve my nation, and believe in the Resurrection.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Blood of Tyrants

One less flying B17. This wasn’t the Confederate Air Forces one is it?

This is kind of like that B29 that was stuck in an ice field since WWII. They brought all the parts and a film crew to document its restoration and their plans to fly it. During taxiing runs, apparently the fuel tank near the APU wasn’t bolted down or something and the plane burned to the ground. I don’t know if they were able to rescue the 4 engines they brought with them. A downer ending of the documentary.
Kee Bird
http://b-29s-over-korea.com/shortstories/b29-frozen.htm


14 posted on 06/13/2011 6:04:23 PM PDT by Lx (Do you like it, do you like it. Scott? I call it Mr. and Mrs. Tennerman chili.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sasquatch

Yes, glad the humans are ok. To bad about the machine.


15 posted on 06/13/2011 6:05:31 PM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (Demons run when a good man goes to war.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Blood of Tyrants

I saw that one flying in Albuquerque a few years ago, but the tickets were all sold-out by the time I found out about it; I was hoping to get a ride in it some day.


16 posted on 06/13/2011 6:06:55 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: smokingfrog

Why are they still flying these old treasures? They should be preserved in museums not used to raise money and give people little thrill rides. It’s like pushing an old racehorse out on the fairgrounds to give pony rides. It’s demeaning.


17 posted on 06/13/2011 6:23:05 PM PDT by WestSylvanian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: GAB-1955

My Uncle Jim piloted them over Europe. Never found out a single detail, however. I was too young to inquire and he just wanted to forget.


18 posted on 06/13/2011 6:30:18 PM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Blood of Tyrants

I rode on the Liberty Belle about 6 months ago - an incredible experience - will treasure the photos and video I took on the ride. As one of nine passengers, we were allowed to roam the entire AC after it was airborne. Video I took from the nose of the AC is awesome. Breaks my heart to see her in total ruin. So tragic, but so thankful all crew members were safe.


19 posted on 06/13/2011 6:30:22 PM PDT by Texas Deb
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: skeeter
The first metal clad American bomber. That's how close we are to the dawn of the age of aviation. My father flew 50 missions in B-17's over Axis-controlled Europe. Even though he was a purebred Swede, he never liked cold weather after that. B-17's didn't have central heating, and it got damn cold at 23,000 feet.
20 posted on 06/13/2011 6:36:27 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Texas Deb

The ride meant a lot to me as my uncle was a left-waist gunner on a B17 flying fortress in WWII, flying missions over Europe. He died in the war.

Many who rode on the Liberty Belle were veterans, and on the door of the Liberty Belle were the signatures of the veterans who had taken a ride on the AC.


21 posted on 06/13/2011 6:36:27 PM PDT by Texas Deb
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: ProtectOurFreedom

He told us some things about it. Other things we found out from the paper.

He won the DFC with seven Oak Leaf Clusters.
He was the youngest Lieutenant Colonel in the USAAF.

He used to pray before a mission that his bombs would not fall on innocent people. However, he always emptied his relief tube over Germany.

After the war, he was with Virginia Electric Power Company, and there was a trade fair in which a German company was selling ovens. The salesman said, “Yes, we Germans make very good ovens.” My Uncle said, “Yeah. We know,” in a cold cutting voice.

He was a man, a father, a Christian gentleman, and he loved us all as much as his kids.

He built a boat in his backyard - or tried to.

He taught me the hard way what a live circuit was and what wasn’t.

He could have been a general in SAC, but didn’t want to stay in the Air Force.

He was my uncle Bob. I miss you and Aunt Ann and will see you in Heaven.


22 posted on 06/13/2011 6:38:23 PM PDT by GAB-1955 (I write books, love my wife, serve my nation, and believe in the Resurrection.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Blood of Tyrants
A great loss.

Thankfully the crew got out safely.


23 posted on 06/13/2011 6:39:07 PM PDT by Iron Munro (Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster - Sun Tzu)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DuncanWaring
Reminds me of a story...

My Dad, now passed, flew 50 missions in a B-24 named Boomarang (because it always came back). Some years ago the Yankee or Confederate Air Force had a B-24 flying and were offering rides out of Willow Run Air Port. I thought sure Dad would like the concept and mentioned it to him.

He looked at me kind of funny and said. "Are you kidding? Do you realize how many times I almost didn't come back in a B-24? No thanks."

It's a reminder to me that glories of victory to those of us who never saw war is very different than those who had to deal with the horrors when victory was only a dream.

24 posted on 06/13/2011 6:41:32 PM PDT by WhoisAlanGreenspan?
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Blood of Tyrants

Sad indeed - A piece of history gone forever.

On the bright side, the B-17 and the men who flew them have not really vanished. We still enjoy the fruits of those sacrifices made decades ago.


25 posted on 06/13/2011 6:43:16 PM PDT by labette ( Humble student of Thinkology)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Graneros

The original Memphis Belle is now residing at the Air Force museum. She left Memphis several years ago after the city of Memphis failed to provide a proper fully enclosed building to display her. It was sad to lose The Old Girl but the AF museum will take care of her.

Very sad to lose the Liberty Belle. There aren’t that many flight worthy B-17’s left. It will be a severe loss when the last 17 no longer flies. If anyone ever knows where one or more will be displayed, go see them. You may not get many more chances to do so.


26 posted on 06/13/2011 6:43:16 PM PDT by NCC-1701 (In Memphis on January 20, 2009, pump price were $1.49. We all know what happened after that.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Lx
"One less flying B17. This wasn’t the Confederate Air Forces one is it?"

I think they go by Commemorative Air Force nowdays, Confederate was too non-PC for some, but point taken. I've known a few of their squadron mates around here in DFW. My ex-roomie had a daddy who flew the Hump in C-47s back in WW2 and kept an AT-6 "Texan" in the air with the local wing. Until an unfortunate accident turned him and his aircraft into a pile of debris.

27 posted on 06/13/2011 6:57:19 PM PDT by West Texas Chuck (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. That should be a convenience store, not a Government Agency.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Blood of Tyrants; All
All B-17 lovers, READ THIS BOOK! Wonderful story told by Martin Caidin.
28 posted on 06/13/2011 7:04:02 PM PDT by redhead (Don't bother to impeach the miserable SOB, ARREST him!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: West Texas Chuck

Wow, I have to comment on my own comment.

I haven’t thought about Captain Hank in a while. He flew heavies with AA between Laguardia and Germany for many many years. After he retired he bought that T-6, took me up a time or two. Guy was a John Wayne clone, good man, I miss that ol’ sumbish.

RIP “Red One.”


29 posted on 06/13/2011 7:06:59 PM PDT by West Texas Chuck (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. That should be a convenience store, not a Government Agency.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: WhoisAlanGreenspan?

I seem to recall a statistic (though it seemed a bit extreme/severe) that, essentially, 70% of all men who left England on a B-17 heading out over The Continent were eventually shot down and killed or taken prisoner, or their airplane came back to England, but they were dead, before getting to 25 missions to come home.

A far cry from today’s “video-game” wars.


30 posted on 06/13/2011 7:11:01 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: hinckley buzzard
The first metal clad American bomber.

Perhaps 'first metal clad heavy bomber.

B-18 was ahead of it.

31 posted on 06/13/2011 7:12:45 PM PDT by PAR35
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Blood of Tyrants

They had a web site; it appears to have been disabled.

The Google cached version is at:

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:uD8WmjVMfqcJ:www.libertyfoundation.org/+liberty+belle&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&source=www.google.com


32 posted on 06/13/2011 7:16:30 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Graneros

After 25 combat missions over Europe in WWII she has to meet her fate in an Illinois cornfield—66 years later. Overall not a bad run.


33 posted on 06/13/2011 7:16:35 PM PDT by Rebelbase
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: hinckley buzzard

The Martin B-10 was the first all-metal monoplane bomber to go into regular use by the United States Army Air Corps, entering service in June 1934.


34 posted on 06/13/2011 7:18:50 PM PDT by narses ("Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions." Chesterton)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: WhoisAlanGreenspan?

Well stated.


35 posted on 06/13/2011 7:20:22 PM PDT by mcshot ("...of the people, by the people, for the people..." but we aren't "his people".)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: DuncanWaring

That statistic could be on the money. WWII Army Air Force had a higher casualty rate than the infantry.

Recently I’ve seen a B-17 flying over my neighborhood here in SoCal. Don’t know the name of the plane.


36 posted on 06/13/2011 7:21:43 PM PDT by Pelham (Islam. The original Evil Empire)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: Purdue Pete

Ping?


37 posted on 06/13/2011 7:27:01 PM PDT by lucyblue
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pelham

I was at a air show in Michigan last summer where they had EIGHT B-17’s in the air at one time. This plane that burned today was one of them. Here is a link to a video from that show (I kind of hate the guy talking so much over the loud speakers):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3z1GKpgEAQ4&feature=related


38 posted on 06/13/2011 7:39:18 PM PDT by Lockbar (March toward the sound of the guns.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: Graneros
She is being carefully restored at the National Museum of the US Air Force, Wright-Pat, OH
Memphis Belle
PLEASE DONATE!
39 posted on 06/13/2011 7:40:15 PM PDT by SERKIT ("Blazing Saddles" explains it all......)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Pelham

I think it was the Liberty Belle that flew into Springfield, IL last summer for tours and rides. I remember hearing the B-17 (if it was her, not sure) coming a long way off. Went outside and watched it fly over with tears in my eyes. A piece of history and some personal memories also as my late father was a gunner in a B-17 during WWII. Started out in Kansas in the Ferry Command flying planes out east for shipment to Europe and ended up in England. Thank God he survived the war and came home. My mother was one of those ‘smaller’ ladies who were able to fit into the nose of aircraft and rivet. She helped build some B-17’s during the war. I’ve always had a soft spot for them because of the family connection.


40 posted on 06/13/2011 7:51:09 PM PDT by RonInNaples
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: WestSylvanian

Cole Palen—who created the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome—said it’s not an airplane if it doesn’t fly.

With that mentality, he restored what is now the second oldest flying airplane in the world: Bleriot XI from 1909. I saw it fly last year.


41 posted on 06/13/2011 7:56:21 PM PDT by OA5599
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: West Texas Chuck

Sorry to hear about your friend. What struck me is that my grandfather also flew C-47s in CBI theater, then flew heavies for AA out of NY. (Then he moved to Texas, DFW area specifically. He bought a few planes along the way, but nothing as big as a T-6.) He was the senior pilot at AA when forced to retire. His last flight was in a 747 to Honolulu before AA got rid of them. Wonder if he knew your Captain Hank.


42 posted on 06/13/2011 8:07:20 PM PDT by OA5599
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: West Texas Chuck

I used to be a member of the Confederate Air Force. I stopped when they went politically correct.


43 posted on 06/13/2011 8:18:40 PM PDT by Kirkwood (Zombie Hunter)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: WestSylvanian
I don't think so. It's one thing to see it in a museum and entirely different to see it flying.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5HfUCuUtfU

44 posted on 06/13/2011 8:28:03 PM PDT by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open ( <o> ---)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Blood of Tyrants

We had two B-17 pilots at the local legion..Austell 216. One recently passed. Col Weekly. He flew the Aluminum Overcast. Flew a restored Aluminum Overcast in a show with Jack Rousch.

The other is Stewart Reed. He’s still kickin.


45 posted on 06/13/2011 8:28:22 PM PDT by Vigilantcitizen (I got a fever and the only prescription is more watermelon trickworm, better known as bass crack.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: OA5599

Oh, I’ll bet. That is a pretty small pond.

Yeah, old Capt. Hank was quite a guy. Him and his pals flew airshows all over Texas. They had this tradition of “beating up the town” by doing a Dawn Patrol the day of the airshow. That fateful day, somewhere down east of Houston I forget the name, some guy had won a flight in the second seat in a contest. They were doing a 360 break preparing to land and the guy freaked out and got his feet tangled up in the controls and Hank couldn’t pull out of the descent. Drove it right in, fighting to regain control the whole time, so sayeth the FAA.

Sad day around our gang, but the man died with his boots on and that is about all you can ask for IMHO.


46 posted on 06/13/2011 8:31:36 PM PDT by West Texas Chuck (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. That should be a convenience store, not a Government Agency.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: Blood of Tyrants; All

This looks like a place to locate warbirds:

http://www.warbirdregistry.org/

I know Geneseo, NY has some.

I used to go to the Sussex Air Show in Sussex, NJ. Great local show air - Warbirds, Leo Loudenslager, the French Connection, “The Farmer who won a free ride in a Piper Cub” Roger Lehnert.

You can still catch the Sussex County Farm and Horse Show nearby if you want to find out about why they call it the “Garden State”, but the airshow is no more, sad story.


47 posted on 06/13/2011 8:52:16 PM PDT by PieterCasparzen (Conservative Christian Capitalists - I encourage you to visit my Profile)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Blood of Tyrants
I could not afford to take a flight on it, but I did take a number of photos of Liberty Belle. Here is one I took when plane was in Cincinnati!
Nose Art..B-17   view Large !

48 posted on 06/13/2011 9:16:41 PM PDT by timestax (Why not drug tests for the President AND all White Hut staff ? ? ?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: timestax
Here is another shot I took of the Liberty Belle flying over Cincinnati.
Liberty Belle  B-17 flying over Cincinnati area !

49 posted on 06/13/2011 9:23:45 PM PDT by timestax (Why not drug tests for the President AND all White Hut staff ? ? ?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 48 | View Replies]

To: Blood of Tyrants

One of those beauts flew over my house a few weeks ago.


50 posted on 06/13/2011 9:29:50 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Going 'EGYPT' - 2012!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson