Wings of Freedom gives WWII Veterans one more memorable flight

Restored historic planes fly through San Diego
Posted at 8:02 AM, May 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-04 16:16:47-04

RAMONA, Calif. (KGTV) - A handful of rare and historic airplanes are on display in San Diego this weekend as part of the Wings of Freedom tour.

A B-17 Flying Fortress, B-24 Liberator, P-51 Mustang and B-25 Mitchell will arrive at the Carlsbad Airport Thursday, and the planes will be on display through Sunday.

Helping to fly them in are a group of World War II veterans, who will ride in the B-24 from Ramona to Carlsbad.

"It's exciting. I remember that plane well," said Alan Carlton, a captain in WWI who flew in a B-24 and resides at Brookdale Carmel Valley senior living community in San Diego.

Carlton was shot down over Germany in 1944 and spent 16 months in a German prisoner-of-war camp. Even after his ordeal, he still has fond memories of his old plane.

"It wasn't like a pet, we didn't name it," he said. "But we needed it, and it treated us well."

The Wings of Freedom is presented by the Collings Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps develop "living history" events. The tour goes to 100 US cities each year to let people get an up-close look at the planes that helped win World War II.

It also gives people a chance to fly in them. Flights in the B-17 or B-24 are $450 per person, while flights in the B-25 are $400. They also offer flight training in the P-51 for $2,200 for a half hour or $3,200 an hour.

The money all goes towards upkeep on the planes and to help pay for the flights for Veterans.