WWII vets revisit warplanes they flew - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

WWII vets revisit warplanes they flew

GREGG COUNTY,TX (KLTV)- A traveling museum of World War II flight is paying tribute to the men who fought the monumental battles in the Pacific and Europe. P-51 Mustang fighter, B-17 Flying Fortress, and the B-24 Liberator. All part of the allied air power that turned the tide of WWII, and all were on display at East Texas Regional Airport. The old warriors, the men who flew them, got to come back and take one more look at the planes they knew so well.

"Brings back a lot of memories," says WWII veteran Milton Bass of Jefferson.

Bass lost his twin brother in a B-17 over Europe.

"He got shot down on his seventeenth mission in the North Sea," he says.

Bass flew 50 missions in the B-17, as a ball turret gunner. The B-24 Liberator was the workhorse of the war, flying in all theatres. WWII Navy veteran Doyle Maxwell of Gilmer flew 92 Liberator missions in the Pacific, most under heavy fire.

"We came in one time with over two-hundred and eighty holes through our plane, the  hydraulic system shot out. But I was doing what my country asked me to do," Maxwell says.

In their 80's and 90's now, but for this moment in time looking at the planes they won the war with, they're young again.

"If there was ever a love between a man and an airplane, I love that old plane," says Maxwell.

For some it's an emotional reunion.

"I get all torn up; I know what the plane had done for the boys in our squadron," Maxwell says.

The 88 year-old Maxwell had the added honor of taking one more flight on the B-24 Liberator on their way to a show in Dennison, Texas.

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