World War II veterans take special flight in B-17
Some World War II veterans got the opportunity to take a special flight in Maryland Monday.
It's been a long time since 89-year-old Ken Hutcherson flew in a B-17 Flying Fortress.
For just a few hours, he was 20-years-old again.
"Boy, this brings back a lot of memories," Hucherson said.
Hutcherson worked mostly as a radio operator from November 1943 to April 1944. He and a crew of nine others fought through hostile skies over Europe to complete 26 bombing mission in a B-17.
"We came back to the barracks there were 26 men that morning, six came back. A lot of close calls," Hutcherson added.
Roughly, one in four of the bombers were lost in combat.
On February 25, 1944, Hutcherson's crew nearly went down.
"We got hit heavily with flack going in, had a fire in the back of the plane," Hutcherson explained. "The intercom was cut between the back of the plane. I put my parachute on."
Monday, Hutcherson didn't have to worry about enemy fire or even working the radio. For the World War II vet, it was time to sit back and enjoy one last ride.
"It was smoother, and I couldn't believe everyone putting ear plugs in. We didn't have anything like that," he added.
Only about 12 B-17s still fly. The one Hutcherson flew in Monday also appeared in the movie Memphis Belle.
The Liberty Foundation is raising money to restore another B-17, so it can take to the skies again.