BREMERTON — An opportunity to take a tour of living history will present itself at the Bremerton National Airport June 18-20.
Once again, the Wings of Freedom tour will be displaying four WWII-era planes at the airport, available to people to see, touch, walk through and, in some cases, even fly in.
This year, the planes will be a B-17 Flying Fortress “Nine O Nine,” a Consolidated B-24 Liberator “Witchcraft,” B-25 Mitchell “Tondelayo” bombers and P-51 Mustang “Toulouse Nuts” fighter.
The tours and display will be available from noon to 5 p.m. June 18; from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 19; and 9 a.m. to noon June 20. Entrance is $15 for adults, $5 for children.
Flight experiences will be available as well: 30 minutes on the B-17 or B-24 is $450 per person; 30 minutes on the B-25 will be $400; 30-minute flight training on the TF-51D is $2,200; and 60-minute flight training on the TF-51D is $3,200.
“The Wings of Freedom tour is a flying, interactive memorial for our WWII veterans,” said Hunter Chaney, director of marketing for the Collings Foundation in an earlier interview with the Central Kitsap Reporter. “It features four of some of the most rare and iconic bomber and fighter aircraft in WWII.”
Wings of Freedom started more than 30 years ago, and is a 510(c)(3) nonprofit, with the purpose of organizing and supporting “living history” events and the preservation, exhibition and interaction of historical artifacts that enable Americans to learn more about their heritage through direct participation.
“To read about history, you might remember it or understand it,” Chaney said. “To experience something like this, a real, tactile experience in aviation history, is something you tend not to forget. When you’re inside the aircraft, what you’re seeing is straight out of WWII. It really is a tactile history lesson.”
Chaney said the flight experiences are “an amazing experience.”
“It’s really something that people never forget. The plane squeaks and moans and is loud,” he said. “It really drives home what it must have been like to be a crew member during WWII.”
“It’s that type of interaction, that level of excitement, that prompts people to want to learn more about this particular piece of flying history and WWII in general. It’s an excellent way to engage people in this history, not only as a means to better understand it, but as motiviation to learn more.”
To learn more about the Collings Foundation, the Wings of Freedom Tour and future stops, visit collingsfoundation.org. To learn more about the Bremerton stops on the Wings of Freedom tour, visit portofbremerton.org/wings-of-freedom-tour.