Liberty Foundation to salute veterans on Labor Day in Montgomery

Published 10:54 pm Saturday, September 1, 2018


The Liberty Foundation’s “Salute to Veterans” tour will stop in Montgomery on Labor Day at the Dannelly Field Airport.

It’s a four-engine heavy bomber developed in the 1930’s for the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC).          The B-17 was used in World War II and was known for being an effective bomber, playing a big role for the U.S.

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The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress “Madras Maiden” will be on display. It was built on Oct. 17, 1944 in Burbank, California. The Madras Maiden is one of only 12 B-17’s that still fly today.

Madras Maiden was built toward the end of WWII and never saw any combat. Painted in the colors of the 381st Bomb Group member of the eighth Air Force based in Bassingbourn, England. It flew 297 operational missions during the war and dropped 22,000 tons of bombs. They lost 131 B-17’s and downed over 223 enemy aircraft.

The B-17 known as the “Flying Fortress” because of its defensive firepower, saw action in every theatre of operation in WWII.

Most of the WWII B-17’s was operated by the eighth Air Force in Europe and completed several missions from England bases deep into enemy territory. Between 1935 and 1945, there were 12,732 B-17’s produced and 4,735 were lost in combat, according to the Liberty Foundation. The B-17’s were also used during wars in Korea, Isreal and Vietnam.

“The Liberty Foundation’s B-17 fly’s today as a tribute to the courage and commitment of all the men and women who served our country in times of need,” Liberty Foundation Director of Flight Operations Scott Maher said.

Don Brooks founded the Liberty Foundation, a 501 (c) Museum to honor his father and the thousands who served in the 381st and others who fought for the Allies. The Foundation operates the aircraft.

Several WWII B-17 veterans, now in their 90’s, will be on hand to discuss their military experience.