B-17G Flying Fortress ‘Sentimental Journey’ a hit at the CWHM in 2016

The Commemorative Air Force B 17G Flying Fortress

The Commemorative Air Force B-17G Flying Fortress

The visit of the Commemorative Air Force Arizona Wing B-17G Flying Fortress ‘Sentimental Journey’ was among the highlights of 2016 for the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton.

One of only about 10 B-17s still flying, Sentimental Journey took centre stage from Aug. 29 to Sept. 5. The aircraft was restored to authentic condition by CAF volunteers as part of their flying museum tour program. Sentimental Journey rolled off the assembly line in late 1944 and was assigned to the Pacific theatre for the duration of the war. It served as a photo-mapping aircraft for nearly three years. It returned to the U.S. for service in air sea-rescue, and then participated in an American postwar atmospheric nuclear weapon test series as the mother ship for an unmanned, radio-controlled B-17. In 1959, it went into military storage before it was acquired by the Aero Union Corporation of Chico, California. The aircraft spent the next 18 years flying literally thousands of sorties against forest fires. In 1978, the old bomber was donated to the CAF Arizona Wing, which undertook a challenging and extensive restoration. A contest was initiated in the local media to name the aircraft and more than 800 entries were received. The most famous pinup picture of the Second World War was the winning choice for the nose art. Permission was secured from widower Harry James to add Betty Grable in her most tantalizing pose. With the end of every air show season, Sentimental Journey returns to Falcon Field, Mesa, Arizona, to undergo general repairs and restoration work. An average of 80,000 people tour through Sentimental Journey during the summer months.

Commemorative Air Force B 17G Sentimental Journey

Commemorative Air Force B-17G Sentimental Journey firing up at CWHM, Sept. 3, 2016

Sentimental Journey 2016 visit CWHM

'Sentimental Journey' attracted plenty of fans during its 2016 visit to the CWHM