Flying Fortress

Published June 28, 2006 / by Steve Berentson

Drawing a crowd this week at the Port of Skagit Bayview Airport is this Boeing B-17 “Flying Fortress,” one of two vintage aircraft from the Collings Foundation’s “Wings of Freedom Tour.” The other aircraft on display is a B-24 “Liberator.” The planes were described by Skagit Valley Herald reporter Jake Olson as “the backbone of the American war effort from 1942 to 1945.” I was privileged to tour the planes Tuesday afternoon with my dad, a U.S. Navy veteran drawn away from Anacortes as a teen in World War II. I was impressed by a young crewman who met my dad in the rear of the B-17, expressing his thanks for Dad’s contribution when he learned that he had served with the Navy in the Pacific. Today is the last day of a three-day visit for the fully operational planes (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.). See more photos in Activities section under “Vintage bombers.”

About Steve Berentson
A fourth generation Skagit County native who was moved kicking and screaming from this island community in 1960. I finally reclaimed an Anacortes address in 1980, and I have been in constant celebration of my return since that time. Many of us who call Anacortes home love Fidalgo Island for its natural assets: among them are rugged beaches, pristine lakes, thousands of acres of forestland and some awesome views of the Skagit Valley and surrounding islands. Another element of my love affair with this community is its people, both natives and immigrants. They will “star” in many of my journal entries.

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