AURORA, Ore. (KOIN) — History buffs and aviation aficionados will want to be in Aurora this weekend where World War II era planes will be on full display.
One of those available to see and even take a ride in is a B-24 Liberator the “Witchcraft,” a staple of WWII that flew 130 missions while in service. Of the 18,000 B-24 Liberators built in the United States during the war, the Witchcraft is the only one still flying.
Retired United States Air Force Brigadier General Greg Trebone flies the Witchcraft and other planes.
“Of the 60 airplanes I’m qualified to fly, this is the most challenging,” Trebone said.
The Witchcraft was manned by a crew of 10 people — 6 to stand by the turrets and watch for enemy fighters, one to guide bombs, 2 pilots and a navigator. Trebone explained how the aircraft has several machine gun openings and sophisticated systems for the time.
“There’s a strong emotional connection you get to the history that was made by 18, 19, 20-year-olds flying this airplane in combat,” Trebone said.
The Witchcraft and other historic planes will be on display at the Aurora Airport this June 16-18 as part of the Collings Foundations’s Wings of Freedom Tour. Trebone hopes to keep these historic planes flying for another 20 years.
“I personally feel like i’m delivering a special gift to the people in this community,” Trebone said. “They read about it but they never get to see it, touch it, smell it and we’re bringing that to them.”