Historic WWII-Era Plane Makes Stop In Oklahoma

Monday, July 20th 2020, 3:54 am
By: Brian Mueller

Living history landed in Oklahoma City this weekend.

One of only two operational B-29s in the world made some new memories for Oklahomans, and also brought back some old ones.

"It allows generations of today, to take a step back into history," says Josh Wells, Doc's Friends Executive Director.

And what a history the Boeing B-29 has. It's the type of plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II.

The Boeing plant in Wichita produced 1,600 B-29s, a little under half of the nationwide production, which included Doc.

The non-profit organization Doc's Friends took customers on a 30-minute flight back in time with the organization.

Doc didn't see combat but was part of a radar calibration unit known as the Seven Dwarfs.

It was retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1956 and spent the next 42-years baking and taking a beating in the Mojave Desert, used as target practice by the U.S. Navy.

That was until a former Air Force flight engineer acquired it. 16-years and 450,000 volunteer hours later, Doc was airborne again in 2016.

"Really think about those seats that you're sitting in about where our nations heroes and our war fighters sat," Wells says.

Retired Air Force Colonel Harry Anderson sat in those seats for 27 missions during the Korean War.

"I can't believe I flew that airplane, I was very young and very inexperienced, but I flew it," Col. Anderson says.

He flew it for 3,000 hours, the equivalent of 125 days.

70-years later, the sight of it in the sky still takes his breath away.

"I'd like to be at the controls of that, but I'm afraid I'm way over the hill. Enough's enough," he said.

Doc will be back in action when it visits Omaha on August 1 and 2.