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World War II Warbirds touch down in St. George for tours and rides

Reporter: Stgeorgeutah

 World War II Warbirds touch down in St. George for tours and rides

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ST. GEORGE — A historic pair of World War II aircraft will land in St. George for ground and cockpit tours and rides Sept. 7-10. The Western Sky Aviation Warbird Museum will host the History Restored Tour at the St. George Regional Airport. The C-47 “That’s All … Brother” and the B-29 “Doc” will be featured at the three-day event. “That airplane ‘That’s All … Brother’ flew the lead aircraft in the invasion of Normandy, so it’s really special and we’re lucky to have them come in here,” Jack Hunter, the museum director, said. Hunter said the goal of the museum, with the tour and the airplanes they have, is to help people appreciate history and learn about those who flew them.

Hunter is a retired colonel in the U.S. Air Force. “The main thing was that there were not robots flying these things. It was human beings flying these airplanes,” Hunter said. “And most were young people like 19- or 20-year-olds going on missions over to Germany, never knowing if they’re ever gonna come home, and a lot of them did not.

And that’s why you have your freedoms today.” “That’s All … Brother” was the C-47, a troop carrier aircraft that led the airborne invasion on June 6, 1944, carrying 101st Airborne Division paratroopers into France during the D-Day invasion. During the rest of World War II, “That’s All … Brother” served in Operation Dragoon, Market Garden, the Relief of Bastogne and Operation Varsity. After the war, the aircraft was sold as surplus and its history was almost forgotten, according to a website dedicated to this aircraft.

In 2015, the Commemorative Air Force rescued the aircraft from a boneyard and completed restoration to its World War II configuration in 2018. In June 2019, the plane returned to England and France to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day, flying over Omaha Beach on June 6, 2019. The aircraft will return to Europe for the 80th-anniversary commemorations in June 2024. The “Doc” is a B-29, one of 1,644 manufactured in Wichita, Kansas, during World War II.

It is one of only two remaining B-29s that are airworthy and flying today. According to the plane’s website, the mission of Doc’s Friends, the group that sponsors the plane, is “to the men and women who sacrificed so much for the freedom of others, including those who designed, built, maintained and flew the B-29 during and after World War II.” Admission for the ground and cockpit tour event will be $10 per person and $20 per family, with tickets available at the gate.

Visitors can enter the St. George event through the Western Sky Aviation Warbird Museum, 4196 S. Airport Parkway, St. George. Ride flight tickets are on sale now for both the B-29 Doc and the C-47 “That’s All … Brother.” Both planes will be available for ground and cockpit tours when not operating ride flights.

The ramp will be open for public access Friday, Sept. 8, from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. The hours for ground and cockpit tours Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 9-10, will be from 12:30-4 p.m., subject to the aircraft ride schedules. To learn more about the history of the Western Sky Aviation Warbird Museum, click here, Copyright St.

George News, LLC, 2023, all rights reserved.

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