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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