World War II-era planes on display for veterans at Ford Airport
A machine gun operator would sit in a cramped niche at the nose of a B-25 Berlin Express Bomber, directly below the pilot.
KINGSFORD, Mich. (WLUC) - Veterans got to explore two historic World War II planes Friday during a ceremony in their honor.
A machine gun operator would sit in a cramped niche at the nose of a B-25 Berlin Express Bomber, directly below the pilot. The 53-foot-long plane was heavily used during World War II.
Groups of veterans, along with TV6′s Clint McLeod, got to take a once-in-a-lifetime flight on the bomber.
“There are a lot of fun interactions today, the mood is light,” said Timothy Ellison, Iron Mountain VA Hospital veteran experience officer. “There are people coming and asking questions about VA benefits, but the focus has been on the incredible planes that veterans are able to get into, get close to, touch and think back on memories from when they served.”
Friday kicked off Ford Airport’s annual celebration. Veterans were invited to a lunch program and preview of the historic planes.
While the B-25 bomber will not be at Ford Airport Day Saturday, another World War II plane will be.
“It was used in many foreign wars. It was an attack airplane, ‘A’ for attack,” said Vincent Quadrani, Douglas A-26 Invader owner.
Quadrani owns the Douglas A-26 Invader attack plane. He said it is worth about the same as a house. The plane comes with a unique dragon painting on the nose of the plane, common for World War II-era planes. It will be on display Saturday.
“It’s to honor the veterans who have served and to be on display for the public to see,” Quadrani said. “We are hoping to start a museum one day at this airport, I think it would be good to bring more living history to this town.”
Quadrani is a pilot and says flying the A-26 Invader is surreal.
“I can’t describe it. It is amazing. It is the most joy I have ever had, it is a lot of fun,” Quadrani said.
The Douglas A-26 Invader was retired from service in 1979. That attack airplane will be one of many planes and cars on display at Ford Airport Day Saturday.
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