HEBER CITY, UT (ABC 4 Utah) - History has landed in Heber. This week the beautiful B-25 "Made in the Shade" World War Two plane and a Stearman bi-plane are on display at the Heber City Airport. And as we learned on Monday - the plane that honors heroes is helping local families learn about heroes as well.
The war birds are flying high above Heber City right now. Restored planes, like a magnificent B-25, are here to use history to teach history. Commemorative Air Force Pilot Russ Gilmore says the plane is "a real combat veteran." "It flew missions against the Germans and Italy and Romania. And it does have repaired bullet holes in it." Gilmore, who is with the Arizona Wing of the CAF says the B-25 'Made in the Shade' is the real deal. "It went on some pretty hairy missions. It went out on a flight of four and it was the only one that came back."
Rhoda Ramsey knows a bit about those hairy types of stories. Her husband piloted a plane just like this during the war. She was out with her family to see the B-25 on Monday. "It means a lot to me just to know that is the type of plane he (her husband) flew and it's sentimental to know what he went through. And hard to comprehend."
Ramsey says for years her husband wouldn't say much about his war missions. "At first he never talked about it." She says it took about twenty years for him to share some of his stories. She says she found out he flew 54 missions and was a squadron commander. And she says seeing this plane adds an emotional element to those stories. "It's touching to me. Very touching. It's hard to believe what those guys went through." And she brought her family out to make sure they got to see the plane 'grandpa' flew. "I thought it was very much in keeping that the grandchildren and great grandchildren see this plane and be part of this big ceremony."
Gilmore says the CAF's planes really have a way of connecting veteran's stories with their families. "A lot of times they have never told their stories - even to their families - until they get around the planes. Then the stories come back. And the families are thrilled to hear these stories about what a hero there father, grandfather was in the war." And he says behind the thrill of the watching them fly and hearing the roar of their engines - these planes help everyone remember the past. "We never want to forget the sacrifices they made for our freedoms."
The visiting bi-plane, B-25 and some Utah based planes are at the Heber City Airport - Russ McDonald Field - until June 16th. You can see the planes for a $3 or $5 donation.
And if you want to fly in the cockpit of the B-25 or the open air seat of the Stearman Bi-plane you can do that too for a fee between $200 to $650. The funds help out the non-profit Commemorative Air Force. For more information:
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