Historic WWII warbirds arrive at Palomar Airport

San Diego had key role in war effort

CARLSBAD, Calif. - The sounds of World War II filled the air Friday as three different aircraft from the era arrived at Palomar Airport in Carlsbad for a weekend event.

The B-17 Flying Fortress, the P-51 Mustang Fighter and a B-24 bomber -- named Witchcraft -- are at the airport as part of the Collings Foundation's Wings of Freedom Tour.

Of the three, the B-24 bomber is perhaps among the rarest as it is the only one of its kind still flying.

During the war years, Consolidated Aircraft on Pacific Highway employed thousands of men and women working 24-hour shifts to build the B-24.

"My mom worked there and so did my dad before he joined the service and wound up flying a B-24," said Ken Kemp, a volunteer with the Collings Foundation. which owns and restored the historic planes.

Among those who flew in the planes to Palomar was Herb Leopold, a bombardier during the war.

"Where I was sitting in the plane I began wondering how I ever reached underneath to get to the bomb sight," Leopold said.

Leopold, like tens of thousands who flew in B-24's during the war, was 19 or 20 at the time. He's now well into his 90s.

The planes will be on display and flights in all three aircraft can be purchased through the weekend.

For more information, visit http://www.collingsfoundation.org/menu.htm

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