State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

World War II Bomber to Fly Over 4th Fest

by on July 04, 2012 6:24 AM

Fireworks won’t be the only thing drawing people’s attention to the sky this Fourth of July in State College.

A B-25 bomber plane from WWII will be flying into University Park Airport and will eventually fly over the 4th Fest sites on three different occasions.

The “Yankee Warrior” was built on Dec. 8, 1943 before going into service nine days later. Out of the estimated 10,000 aircrafts made during WWII, only 24 are still flying and just two of those have been in actual combat.

The particular bomber that will be visiting State College was a medium-sized plane that operated in April and May of 1944 off the island of Corsica in the Mediterranean before going on bombing missions into Italy.

Jerry Lester, a crew member and public relations chair for the plane, said that even the aircraft’s name is historical.

“The B-25 is the only aircraft named after an individual,” he said, as all B-25 bomber planes were named after General Billy Mitchell, who is considered to be a legend in military aviation.

The Yankee Warrior will make its arrival to the University Park Airport at 10 a.m. on Wednesday and will be on “static display” from 2:30 until 5 p.m., which means that the public will be able to get pictures of the plane and interact with the crew.

Public flights will also fly out of University Park Airport at 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. with a total of 14 seats, seven per flight, available for $400 per seat. According to Lester, these flights are an opportunity that no one should pass up.

“It is so historically rare,” he said. “This plane actually flew combat in WWII.”

For those who don’t make it out to the airport to view the aircraft in person, the bomber will be flying over the 4th Fest sites at 6, 7 and 8 p.m.

To pre-book a seat on one of the public flights, call Lester directly at (517) 404-1061. Reservations are encouraged due to limited seating.

Jocelyn Brumbaugh is a student at Penn State and an intern for covering local news and events.
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