Aviation museum to offer WWII veterans free flights

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LOWER TOWNSHIP – The Yankee Air Museum (YAM)’s B-17 Yankee Lady based in Detroit, Mich. will once again visit Naval Air Station Wildwood (NASW) Aviation Museum on June 9-11.

The museum partnership will honor World War II Veterans by offering free rides on the B-17 when a paid rider accompanies them.

“All of us feel the deepest respect when a World War II veteran steps aboard one of our aircraft,” said Kevin Walsh, executive director of Yankee Air Museum. “We want as many World War II veterans as possible to have the opportunity to fly on the B-17. This is a special offer for them and an honor for us.”

Next year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. Walsh said it’s an opportunity to pay tribute to veterans.

“This year it’s time to take dad, or grandpa, back through time to the era and skies where heroes have flown,” said NASW chief operating officer Bruce A. Fournier.

He said this will be the third year the Yankee Lady will participate in the museum’s American Pride Days.

“We’ve flown a lot of vets, especially airmen and many who were shot down – taken prisoner,” said Norm Ellickson, crew chiefof the B-17. “It’s impossible to imagine the thoughts they have during these flights. For some it’s a last hoorah, I’m sure. For others it’s more somber, like a final farewell, closing a clasp on the mission well done.”

Ellickson said the YAM spends thousands of dollars and volunteers donate hundreds of hours to maintain its planes.

A ride is a 45-minute experience with approximately 30 minutes of air time and will be offered at the Cape May Airport June 9-11. Guests interested in booking a ride and flying with their WWII hero are encouraged to plan early.

To order a ride or to obtain a gift certificate, call Dave Wright at 734-483-4030, ext. 236. Donations are tax deductible. Be sure to mention the Cape May Airport dates.

Both museums are 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations. Visit YouTube and view “Where Heroes Have Flown” for a 90 second glimpse of a B-17 Flight experience.

For more information, contact Bruce Fournier at 609-886-8787 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit www.usnasw.org .

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