@DivaMarie I read the article years ago but remember he was hailed as a hero and couldn’t believe Japan had lost the war when he saw all of the gleaming cities!
@golddigger14s That is awesome. Do you know the name of the plane? If it had one.
My dad had a Cessna 172 so I grew up flying. From before I was born, up until the mid to later 80’s, down past our hanger at my local airport, beyond the Ag-Cats, Pawnee’s, and a pair of Thrush spray planes that were in current service Reeder Flying Service had 8-10 disused but complete TBM’s that sat out on the flight line. They had been converted to use as spray planes somewhere in the 50’s I’m guessing.
When I was 12 or so, PB Blaster in hand, I walked out and got in the rear side door of one, crawled through the tunnel and got into the cockpit so I could unlock and open the canopy. I eventually got into every one of them, lubed up the canopies, rudder pedals, stick etc. and got them working like a dream. Good fun playing in them as a kid and even as a young adult. LOL
Way down at the far end of the tarmac, past all of them was a Flying B-26 Marauder. I always wanted to go down an get in it but it was off limits when I was little and it was gone by the time I was a bit older in the late 70’s.
In addition to playing in the TBM’s as a kid, as an adult I have gotten to be aboard a B-17, B-24, the B-25 (Maid in the Shade), and the B-29 ( FiFi )
I got to sit at the Norton bomb site in the nose of “FiFi”. Wish I could have gotten a pic like this one with me sitting in the Glass.
Unfortunately the last flying B-26 crashed in 1995:
@golddigger14s That is very interesting. After reading your link I remember that crash happening. I used to be a member of the CAF at one time. The B-29 “FiFi” also belongs to them.
I should amend my previous post a little bit.
I actually never saw the one that I referred to flying. I did see it running however, and to my knowledge it was flown in to our airport ( I have no idea when. It was there as far back as I can remember) and then was flown out again sometime in the late 70’s.
I will have to do a bit research and maybe I can find more specific details as to her history and eventual whereabouts or demise. Maybe it still exists in a collection as a static display aircraft somewhere.
My dad has passed away, along with all the other old timer pilots that I knew growing up, so at this point I’m not even sure who to ask about it these days.
@jeffing65 isn’t the CAF called something else now? I wonder if everyone still has the rank/title of colonel?
@dave67 ah…I was just thinking with the times they might have changed their name. Guess I was right.
This is what I found online as far as CAF Colonel?
CAF Colonel…$200.00. As a CAF Colonel, you are eligible to: (1) receive a CAF name tag, wings and commission certificate, (2) become a member of a CAF Unit or Aircraft Support Team, (3) fly in CAF air craft on a space-available basis as qualified crew, (4) receive the monthly member magazine Dispatch and GiftShop discounts.
CAF Preservation Colonel…$300.00. Your additional support as a Preservation Colonel will assist in the preservation of the CAF’s collection of World War II artifacts. Includes the same benefits as CAF Colonel.
@dave67 man you are quick with that internet search!
Years and years ago we had a family friend who was a member. He owned a PT19 and an AT6 that he regularly flew out of Chico.
Doing some research the other day, and there is one remaining flying B-26.
@golddigger14s Cool! I haven’t had time to do any research on the one that was here. Or any other research for that matter. I haven’t forgotton about it and still have it on my backlog list though. LOL
I did come across some more pics though. A B-24 I was on. "Diamond ‘LiL’ and an interior shot. Also a shot of the Norton bomb site and out the nose of the B-29 “FiFi”.