by Sid Birns
I am an American and a member of the Côte St. Luc Men’s Club. I was 18 when I enlisted in the U.S. Army in World War II. During World War II, Jack Frank, now 96 and a member of the Men’s Club, was with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) during WWII.
Both of us had the opportunity to visit the Pompano Air Park, Pompano Beach, Florida, where the Collings Foundation’s Wings of Freedom’s famous World War II aircraft were flown
January 23 to be on public display. The four aircraft, the B-17 Flying Fortress, Nine 0 Nine, the B-24 Liberator Witchcraft, the B-25 Mitchell bomber, Tondelayo, and the P-51 Mustang fighter, Toulouse Nuts. The aircraft are a look back in time to the types of airplanes that were the heart of the victorious campaign against the Axis powers.
These aircraft were famous for their ability to sustain damage and still accomplish their mission. Despite the risks of anti-aircraft fire, these bombers safely brought many of their crews home.
The P-51 Mustang was affectionately known as the bomber’s little friend, saving countless crews from the attacking axis fighters.
The Wings of Freedom Tour travels the U.S. as a flying tribute to the flight crews who flew them, the ground crews who maintained them, the workers who built them, the soldiers, sailors and airmen they helped protect, and the citizens and families that share the freedom they helped preserve.