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Everett Atkinson was only 19 when he enlisted for World War II. At 22 he became the aircraft commander of a B-17 Fortress and in charge of 10-men crew. Then, he was assigned to fly the B-29 Superfortress. Atkinson is now 90 years old and he recently welcomed back the B-29 he flew seventy years ago at when the aircraft visited Carbondale, Illinois.
According to Everett Atkinson, the B-29 Superfortress is advanced for its time, even if it has a lot of problems.
“It’s a special occasion today for me to be able to be here and found out that the airplane was coming in and I’m sure the active crew today, much younger young men, will never know what an experience it was for a young kid that was given the job of go do it,” Atkinson said. He also adds, “The B-29 turned out to be an airplane with major problems, especially with the engines. A lot of crashes from engine fires. And crews and planes were lost because of those failures. More crews and planes were lost to those matters than we lost in combat. My wife said years later, ‘If I’d have known how dangerous that B-29 was to fly I would have worried myself to death.’”
Atkinson is ecstatic to meet younger pilots who showed up with the B-29.
“I got a chance to meet with several of the young pilots in there at the desk. I’m very impressed with their interest in aviation and I hope that through visits like this, it will peak their interest in World War II or any world war, aviation was a factor and realize how much we accomplished with our airplanes during World War II with the odds against us.”
Preserve and value history by keeping the spirit of World War II airplanes alive. Warplanes manufactures big model planes from World War I and World War II. Display them in your home keep their legacy burning.
News source: jefferson.kfvs12.com