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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.
, nicknamed Fifi, is part of the Commemorative Air Force that tours all over the country. The B-29 squadron of CAF is based in Addison, Texas.
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
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From WWI to the modern day, bombers have dominated the battlefield and led the path to victory. These are the best of the best. They are the top ten bombers of all time.
10. Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
In 1937 the Boeing Aircraft Company built America’s first all-metal, four-engine heavy bomber, the legendary B-17 Flying Fortress.
9. Handley Page 0/100
Powered by two Rolls Royce engines with a speed of 79 mph, these 100-foot wingspan aircraft were able to deliver their 2,000 pounds of bombs with remarkable accuracy.
8. Junkers Ju-88
Believed by many to be the most important German bomber of World War II, the Ju-88 was in front-line service throughout the 1939-45 conflict. Its versatile design enabled it to be used as a bomber, dive bomber, torpedo bomber, heavy fighter and night fighter.
7. Tupelov Tu-95
This huge Soviet long-range bomber, nicknamed the Bear, was designed to carry up to four nuclear bombs to the U.S. mainland from bases in Russia.
6. Boeing B-47 Stratojet
The B-47 used swept-wing technology captured from Nazi Germany and an unusual tricycle undercarriage, which led many to think it would serve as no more than a research plane.
5. Avro Lancaster
The Lancaster was Britain’s most famous heavy bomber of World War II. Capable of carrying a bomb load of up to 22,000 pounds, Lancasters, which flew at night, pounded German cities and factories.
4. De Havilland Mosquito
Nicknamed the “Wooden Wonder,” the Mosquito was perhaps the most versatile aircraft to see action during World War II. As a bomber, it was also the fastest.
3. Boeing B-29 Super Fortress
The B-29 had a range of over 3,500 miles, an operational ceiling of 31,850 feet and a top speed of 358 mph. It could carry a huge payload of 20,000 pounds of bombs and was armed with 12 .50-caliber machine guns and a 20-mm cannon.
2. Northrop Grumman B-2 Stealth Bomber
The flying-wing concept was brought into the world of advanced stealth technology by Northrop with the B-2 Bomber.
1. Boeing B-52 Stratofortress
With a maximum speed of 650 mph, a range of over 8,000 miles and the capability to drop 70,000 pounds of bombs, the B-52 is the most lethal bomber in the world. It can also deliver nuclear weapons, cruise missiles and precision bombs.