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Collings Foundation WWII Planes

Imagine driving on US 41, and seeing a bomber plane from WWII flying above you. That’s what happened to Chris, one of our content creators this week. Was it ghost from the 40’s? Not quite. It turns out, the Collings Foundation is in town with their WWI planes to show SWFL what was like being inside of warplanes.

We went to visit them to hear about what the foundation is, and to experience first hand being in the presence of these giant weapons. They feature the world’s only flying B-24 bomber plane, and it’s predecessor, the B-17. Being inside these planes was quite life-changing. I mean, soldiers used to go in these tight spaces for hours, risking their lives.

One of the moments that I’ll never forget was looking at the back of the plane where there was a small window. It was where the tail gunner was. This was the most dangerous spot to be in, and there was always a soldier in there. After being shocked, a lady pointed at a man that was by us and told me he used to be a tail gunner during WWII. My first instinct was to try to interview him, but I simply couldn’t.

The amount of respect I felt for the gentleman and everything he went through literally didn’t allow me to approach the man to ask him for his story. I utterly walked up to him and shared my appreciation. It was a day that will always stay with me.

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