The Sun Goes Down on Some Old War Birds – World War 2 Planes


Got the call while heading pretty far in the opposite direction….”Have you got a camera in your pocketbook? Hurry up, come to the Beverly Airport and see the light reflect off the Collings Foundation  warplanes…and yes the one your dad flew on is here”. My husband is an air traffic controller so I get advance notice on stuff like this and blimp visits, and I respond every time I can. This time it was after 6:00, and according to my husband if I was fast, I could make it before the sun relinquished its hold on the day.

IMG_7802 Beverly Airport

Collings Foundation B-17

I turned around and drove on the thready edge of speeding to beat the setting sun with the hope of scoring a scant 1/2  hour of good light for photography. Once there I maneuvered my lens (not the good camera, I didn’t have time to get that) through the chain link fence, hopped on and off a super rickety picnic table to view over the secured area, and mingled briefly with history and airplane buffs as they came in and out of our chain link cage, (now I know how kenneled dogs feel). Everyone was ramped up about the opportunity to see these planes “almost” up close and without the crowds the next day’s event would bring. Next step, “jog” up the winding tower steps (is it like 5 flights?), get out on the semi lethal catwalk for a few aerial shots. I regally waved to the throngs below.

Several years ago my father (with family) revisits plane he actually trained on during WW2. We sent my brother and him up for a ride. It was not inexpensive.

Several years ago my father (with family) revisits the exact plane he actually trained on during WW2. He did 25 missions over Europe as a radioman. We could at the time only afford to send my brother and him up for a ride. It was not inexpensive. Rides on this B-24 and the B-17 now cost $425. Happy to report that both my dad now 88 and the plane, are still looking good!

IMG_7795 Beverly Airport

Collings Foundation B-24 2013

This is a big part of our lives. Some people search for the perfect wave, some for the perfect melody. Jon and I as enthusiastic amateur photographers look for the perfect photo op. And while we fail more often than not to get the winning pic, we always come back with representative shots and a great story.

P-51

I wanted a ride on this P-51 which according to the Collings Foundation is the world’s only dual control P-51C Mustang which is arguably the greatest fighter aircraft ever built. But they only offered flight training on board and a half hour of flight training was $2200 and well, that is just not in the budget this week.

The sun dropped a bit too quickly if you ask me. Leaving nothing but silhouettes and “woulda, shoulda, couldas.” So with a quick peck as a thank you for the call, I unwound the tower stairs, and at the base of the tower, the sun set on  the old war birds.

B=17

B-17

IMG_7792 Beverly airport

B-24 at sunset

IMG_7810 Beverly Airport

Incoming helicopter at sunset Beverly airport

I’ve spent a lot of time with my eye on the sky this summer  –

*Blimp envy will be the subject of my next blog

*Hopping aboard a  1929 Ford TriMotor plane http://wp.me/p13Md6-Np

*Staying grounded while examining the jobs within the skydiving industry  http://wp.me/p13Md6-Oz

The plane Tom Hanks flew on

The plane Tom Hanks flew on

Visit the Collings Foundation website  http://www.collingsfoundation.org/menu.htm and you’ll see that Tom Hanks flew on their 909 (the B-17). Earlier this summer a colleague sent me an article stating that Hanks loves antique typewriters. I collect antique typewriters; I’m obsessed with all varieties of aircraft; I studied acting. What next? Will I learn he visits antique car graveyards and loves house rabbits? What are you,Tom Hanks, like… some sort of big kid, quit copying me!

Jonathan Campbell in Beverly tower. He was responsible for getting these planes off the ground at Beverly and for inviting me to see it happen.

Jonathan Campbell in Beverly tower. He was responsible for getting these planes off the ground at Beverly and for inviting me to see it happen.

(c)2013 by Alison Colby-Campbell

2 responses to “The Sun Goes Down on Some Old War Birds – World War 2 Planes

  1. Beautiful! This one is a labor of love. Wonderful family pic above.

  2. Thanks! Betty one of my nieces entered college this fall, the other two are seniors in HS. Old airplanes and time….so many things flying by!

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