CENTRAL JERSEY: Vintage aircraft offer a living history of WWII at ‘Wings of Freedom’ event (with multiple photos)

A 104-year-old World War II veteran was among those that got to ride in a vintage B-24 airplane – just like the one he piloted during the war – as part of the Collings Foundation’s Wings of Freedom living history display that stopped at Trenton Mercer Airport Wednesday as part of a 110-city tour.
Bill Laub, of Whiting, N.J., was all smiles after his ride in the vintage aircraft.
The vintage Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, Consolidated B-24 Liberator and North American P-51 Mustang were among the aircraft on display at Landmark Aviation in the airport.
The B-17 is one of only eight in flying condition in the United States and the B-24J and full dual control P-51C Mustang are the sole remaining examples of their type flying in the world.
The B-17 and B-24 were the backbone of the American effort during the war from 1942 to 1945 and were famous for their ability to sustain damage and still accomplish the mission. Despite the risks of anti-aircraft fire, attacking enemy fighters and the environment of sub-zero temperatures, many B-17s and B-24s safely brought their crews home.
Visitors were able to explore the aircraft inside and out for a fee and World War II veterans were allowed to tour through the aircraft at no cost.
The Wings Of Freedom Tour travels the nation as a flying tribute to the flight crews who flew them, the ground crews who maintained them, the workers who built them, the soldiers, sailors and airmen they helped protect and the citizens and families that share the freedom that they helped preserve.
The Collings Foundation is a non-profit educational foundation devoted to organizing “living history” events that allow people to learn more about their heritage and history through direct participation.
For more information, go to www.collingsfoundation.org. 