World War II Aircraft: B-17 “Nine O Nine”, B-24 “Witchcraft” & P-51 “Betty Jane”

(Posted: August 22, 2012)

August 10-13, 2012, the Collings Foundation,,  brought the B-17 “Nine O Nine,” the B-24 “Witchcraft,” and the P-51 “Betty Jane” to the Jamestown Airport as one of the stops in their “Wings of Freedom 2012” tour.  It was exhilarating to see all 3 of these WWII vintage aircraft in one place.  It was a cool breezy morning, and exceptionally windy when the engines started one by one increasing the velocity and adding to the enjoyment and appreciation of the experience!  There’s nothing like it!  Of course I think of my Dad and feel pride knowing that he once was an integral part of the B-17 crew.

I loved seeing the looks on the faces of the Veterans who were waiting to fly perhaps for the first time since the War.  My friend, Lester Bishop, rode in “Witchcraft” on Monday, August 13, the anniversary of the day he bailed out of his B-24 sixty-eight years ago.

I took advantage of the opportunity to walk through the 2 Bombers.  I’d walked through the B-17s “Fuddy Duddy” and “Liberty Belle” in previous years but could not pass up the chance to once again view the impressive “Flying Fortress” that my Father had once flown in as ball turret gunner.  I had never seen the inside of the “B-24” and that, too, was amazing to me.  It is hard to imagine the young boys who flew in these bombers; the quarters were so cramped.  It just reiterates the incredible bravery exhibited by the crews.

While we were at the airport the P-51 “Betty Jane” was under cover due to the threatening weather conditions so I didn’t get to see the fighter plane fly but I did get to see “her” and that was a treat!!  All in all it was a grand morning.  I remarked how amazing that it would have been during the days that the skies were filled with these beautiful machines.  It is such a treat today to even see just one lone plane from this group in flight!  What nostalgic feelings emerged upon viewing the historic specimens that helped us win the War; thanks to the brave men who flew them!!

Thank you to the Collings Foundation for providing a trip back in time to all who were fortunate enough to ride, walk through or just catch a glimpse of these beauties.


P-51 “Betty Jane”


B-17 “Nine O Nine”


B-24 “Witchcraft”



One response to “World War II Aircraft: B-17 “Nine O Nine”, B-24 “Witchcraft” & P-51 “Betty Jane””

  1. Nice post. I went through the post I found it very informative and useful. Thanks for sharing.

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