Veteran Takes Sentimental Journey on B-17 Bomber - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Veteran Takes Sentimental Journey on B-17 Bomber

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A WWII B-17 Bomber is on display at the Bismarck airport and is available for rides and tours.

One veteran got to take a sentimental journey in this plane from the past.

Stephanie Scheurer has the details.

"You always wait for that feel in the lift. Then you figured you were safe," says Andrew Schumacher, WWII Veteran.

On this day, Andrew Schumacher got to relive a memory from many years ago.

This WWII B-17 Bomber by the name of "Sentimental Journey" is making an appearance at Bismarck's airport.

"She's a reminder of our past. Some of the memories the veterans have are not good memories but we need to honor our veterans and we also need to educate the following generations. You can't learn it by reading a history book. Here's living history in front of you. It's gonna smoke, it's gonna roar, it's gonna fly," says Jim Kimmel, Pilot of "Sentimental Journey"

"You'll never forget that smell. The oil, hydraulics, and the, I don't know. There's a certain smell of a B-17," says Schumacher.

Andrew was a ball turret gunner in WWII.

He was one who spent anywhere from 4-6 hours on his back in this tiny space at the bottom of the plane.

Andrew survived 35 missions.

Now, nearly 70 years later, he got to fly again.

"Listen to their stories. Some of them get a little teary-eyed, you gotta let them talk. And once they get over that, they appreciate coming out and seeing the airplane again. Then I put them to work. I put them in their positions that they used to fly in and I pull up a chair and a bottle of water and say start talkin," says Kimmel.

"Had a good pilot, good landing. It's always that landing," says Schumacher.

Once Andrew completed his flight, he signed his name among the other veterans of this flying memorial.

"It'll be a memory I won't forget, I'm sure. I really enjoyed it. It's very nice. And I thank everybody that gave me the opportunity to fly," says Schumacher.

(Nat: "John Wayne of the B-17.")

In Bismarck for KX News, I'm Stephanie Scheurer.

(Nat:"Sentimental Journey...")

The B-17 was one of the main bombers used by the United States Air Force against Nazi Germany.

Fewer than 10 remain in flying condition.

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