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B-17 Bomber: Local WWII Vet Revisits History

Updated: Friday, May 16 2014, 10:19 AM CDT
WILLARD AIRPORT-- The iconic B-17 Bomber. The American plane that helped
win WWII. More than 12,000 were made; today only a few still take to
the air.

"I just love this plane. I love it, believe me." Walter
Tatar, Sr. is 100 years old; in 1943 he went to England to repair B-17
Bombers. Thursday he remembered patching bullet holes and fuel lines,
and the crews that didn't return home.

EA Aviation mechanic
Gerard Putzer says, "To shake his hand, it is a rare privilege when you
get one of those individuals out there. He spoke to some of the things
he was involved in. Maintenance, working with the aircraft. To meet a
gentleman like that is a rare privilege."

The B-17 carried 4 tons
of bombs, the crew of 10 included machine gunners in the turrets. They
flew missions in WWII, Korea, even Vietnam. Today, the Aluminum Overcast
is one of only a few that still fly. Four 1,200 horsepower engines
allowed the allies to bomb Nazi Germany during the day, helping turn the
tide of the war.

Putzer says, "This was really the first, heavy
bomber of it's size. When it actually came out it was earth-breaking.
Ground-breaking for its day."B-17 Bomber: Local WWII Vet Revisits History


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