In early December, a historic B-17 bomber housed in Milwaukie was moved to Salem for restoration and repairs by the B-17 Alliance.
The B-17 bomber had been purchased after its service in World War II by a private owner that had been using it as a canopy to a gas station. The B-17 Alliance hopes to restore the aircraft to flying condition. They say it could take as long as five to ten years to complete.
The B-17 Alliance is a non-for-profit organization that is leading the restoration and preservation of the B-17 bomber as there are less than 50 vintage aircraft remaining from World War II.
The B-17 bomber situated on the 99E Super-highway has become a Milwaukie landmark. The Alliance is keen to restore the vintage aircraft, which is also referred to as the “Lacey Lady,” to honor those who fought in World War II.
To move the plane, a team of volunteers came together. They had to lift the aircraft in order to load the bomber onto two trucks using a crane for it to be transported to McNary Field in Salem for its restoration.
The bomber was split into three parts. The two 6,000 pound wings were first loaded onto the bottom of the truck. Then the single main body piece was lifted and placed onto the second truck, sitting in a cradle made of wood.
The “Lacey Lady” was then transported to the secure and protected hanger in Salem where restoration efforts have already begun on this long-term project.
The B-17 Alliance works together with partners and volunteers to gather the funding and manpower required for the restoration. They are eager to create the strong bond experiences by the B-17’s very own war time crew, as well as to honor their sacrifices in order to fight in World War II, the OregonLive.com reports.
The B-17 is said to be one of World War Two’s most respected and used aircraft. Also known as the “B-17G Flying Fortress Bomber,” it is an icon of what it means to be an American. The B-17 Alliance is looking to not only restore the aircraft, but to also use it as the centerpiece for educating the younger generation about the war and the aircraft’s role.
If you would like to donate, volunteer or partner with the B-17 Alliance visit: www.b17alliancegroup.com
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