BURLINGTON, NC – A piece of US history and a man who lived it had a special reunion in Burlington this week.

Joseph Hunter saw and rode plenty of bomber aircraft while serving in WWII, but on Monday he experienced these planes in a very different way.

Three WWII planes are on display at the Burlington Airport all thanks to the Wings of Freedom Tour. It gives veterans like Hunter a chance to tour and even fly a B-17, B-24, or a P-51.

Hunter has always had a special connection with the B-17 because he has never flown in one until now.

“I was close to them, but I never got into one of them,” explained Hunter. “This will be the first time I flew in a B-17 and I'm looking forward to it.”

Then the moment came as Hunter stepped onto the plane ready to enjoy the ride of a lifetime.

“I never realized it would be that good, but it was wonderful,” said Hunter. He says compared to the planes he used to jump out of, the B-17 is like a Cadillac.

Now the 92-year-old has something to check off his bucket list and a memory to last a lifetime.

The B-17 Hunter rode is one of only 8 still flying in the United States.

Hunter was stationed at Fort Bliss and served as a paratrooper after being drafted in 1943.

You can visit these planes at the Burlington Airport until Wednesday.

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