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Standing next to the plane I was fascinated with as a kid was a big thrill for me on Sunday. The Liberty Foundation flew the Memphis Belle into Colonel James Jabara Airport for a few days, allowing you to get an up close and personal look at one of the most important aircraft of WWII.
Growing up in Maine, I had a neighbor named John Graham who would share with me stories of his days as a B-17 tail gunner. As a kid, I was amazed! As an adult to finally stand at the rear of the the plane I gave me a whole different perspective. One that made me appreciate John and his crew and any crew that flew in the "Flying Fortress".
I must have put 50 models of the B-17 together and hung them from my bedroom as a kid. Interestingly enough, I never made the Star Wars connection until this past Sunday. I guess I'm the last person on the planet to realize that George Lucas and Steven Spielberg (fans of the WW2 genre) modeled the Millennium Falcon turret after the belly turret on the B-17. It made me smile. I know, I'm late to the party on that one...but it made me smile.
I was a kid again, I was sitting with John again....it was a good day!