Southern Utah News Articles
Flying Legends of Victory Tour
As we remember the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II this summer, the planes that helped end that war come to life in St. George when two of the most iconic bombers of World War II, the B-17 Flying Fortress “Sentimental Journey” and the B-25 Mitchell “Maid in the Shade” make a combined visit to the St. George Regional Airport.
The event is presented by the Commemorative Air Force (CAF), Airbase Arizona which brings its Flying Legends of Victory Tour to airports across the U.S. and Canada each year. Visitors will be able to view both aircraft up close, purchase rides, and tour the B-17 and B-25 when the aircraft are not flying.
The B-17 and B-25 are scheduled to arrive Thursday, July 2 at 10 a.m. Media will have the opportunity to film the aircraft upon arrival, interview crew and tour the aircraft. Ground tours will be available to the public from 2 to 6 p.m.
July 3-5: Passengers can purchase tickets for flights on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings. On July 4 at 9 a.m., there will be a unique opportunity to participate in the CAF National United We Fly Event. It is a rare opportunity to be in the B-17 or B-25 when they fly together, performing an extended flyover around St. George and surrounding communities.
Ground tours will be available on both planes following the flights beginning at 12 pm.
The aircraft will be parked on the ramp at the Western Sky Aviation Warbird Museum at 4196 S Airport Pkwy, St. George, UT.
Aircraft tours are available for $15 per person and $25 per family. Rides may be booked in advance at azcaf.org/tour or by calling 480-462-2992.
The B-17 Flying Fortress “Sentimental Journey” is one of only five currently flying in the world out of over 12,000 manufactured for combat during WWII.
The Boeing B-17 was most famous for daytime precision bombing operations in Europe, but was used in every theater of war from 1941-45. B-17 cruise speed was about 160 miles per hour; maximum altitude was 36,000 feet. At high bombing altitudes in unheated aircraft, extreme temperatures subjected many crewmembers to frostbite. B-17s were legendary for their ability to return home after major damage from enemy fighters and ground guns.
The B-25 proved to be one of the best weapons and was possibly the most versatile aircraft of WWII. Heavily armed, it was utilized for high- and low-level bombing, strafing, photo-reconnaissance, and submarine patrol. Its most distinguishing role was in the historic raid over Tokyo in 1942 by the Doolittle Raiders.
The B-25 saw duty in every combat area flown by the Dutch, British, Chinese, Russian, Australian and U.S. forces. Our particular B-25J, “Maid In The Shade,” served her wartime duty with the 319th Bomb Group, 437th Squadron at Serragia Airbase, Corsica. There it was assigned Battle Number 18. The plane flew 15 combat missions over Italy and Yugoslavia between November 4 and December 31, 1944.
Through more than six decades of collecting and flying World War II aircraft, the CAF has become the world’s largest flying museum. Their fleet of over 170 World War II airplanes are assigned to unit locations across the U.S. and are supported by 12,000 volunteer members. Nearly all the aircraft are kept in flying condition, enabling people to experience firsthand the sight and sound of vintage military aircraft in flight.
The CAF is dedicated to honoring American military aviation through flight, exhibition, education and remembrance. To learn more about the Commemorative Air Force, please visit www.commemorativeairforce.org.