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WWII veteran steps inside B-17 again at Paine Field

  • Pilot Rick Fernalld holds open the door of the B-17 Flying Fortress Aluminum Overcast for Lt. Col. Ken Wheeler, 90, of Gig Harbor at the Historic Flig...

    Genna Martin / The Herald

    Pilot Rick Fernalld holds open the door of the B-17 Flying Fortress Aluminum Overcast for Lt. Col. Ken Wheeler, 90, of Gig Harbor at the Historic Flight Foundation on Wednesday afternoon. Wheeler served as a navigator in a B-17 during WWII in the 15th Air Force. The Aluminum Overcast will be available to the public for ground tours and flights May 24-26.

  • Lt. Col. Ken Wheeler, 90, of Gig Harbor stands in front of the B-17 Flying Fortress Aluminum Overcast at the Historic Flight Foundation on Wednesday a...

    Genna Martin / The Herald

    Lt. Col. Ken Wheeler, 90, of Gig Harbor stands in front of the B-17 Flying Fortress Aluminum Overcast at the Historic Flight Foundation on Wednesday afternoon. Wheeler served as a navigator in a B-17 during WWII in the 15th Air Force. During the war, his plane was shot down over the former Yugoslavia. The crew avoided capture and hid from the enemy for two weeks before they were rescued. The Aluminum Overcast will be available to the public for ground tours and flights May 24-26.

  • Lt. Col. Ken Wheeler, 90, of Gig Harbor tells war stories inside the B-17 Flying Fortress Aluminum Overcast at the Historic Flight Foundation on Wedne...

    Genna Martin / The Herald

    Lt. Col. Ken Wheeler, 90, of Gig Harbor tells war stories inside the B-17 Flying Fortress Aluminum Overcast at the Historic Flight Foundation on Wednesday afternoon. Wheeler served as a navigator in a B-17 during WWII in the 15th Air Force. During the war, his plane was shot down over the former Yugoslavia. The crew avoided capture and hid from the enemy for two weeks before they were rescued. The Aluminum Overcast will be available to the public for ground tours and flights May 24-26.

  • The original radio in the B-17 Aluminum Overcast.

    Genna Martin / The Herald

    The original radio in the B-17 Aluminum Overcast.

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Genna Martin
Herald Photographer
Published:
  • Pilot Rick Fernalld holds open the door of the B-17 Flying Fortress Aluminum Overcast for Lt. Col. Ken Wheeler, 90, of Gig Harbor at the Historic Flig...

    Genna Martin / The Herald

    Pilot Rick Fernalld holds open the door of the B-17 Flying Fortress Aluminum Overcast for Lt. Col. Ken Wheeler, 90, of Gig Harbor at the Historic Flight Foundation on Wednesday afternoon. Wheeler served as a navigator in a B-17 during WWII in the 15th Air Force. The Aluminum Overcast will be available to the public for ground tours and flights May 24-26.

  • Lt. Col. Ken Wheeler, 90, of Gig Harbor stands in front of the B-17 Flying Fortress Aluminum Overcast at the Historic Flight Foundation on Wednesday a...

    Genna Martin / The Herald

    Lt. Col. Ken Wheeler, 90, of Gig Harbor stands in front of the B-17 Flying Fortress Aluminum Overcast at the Historic Flight Foundation on Wednesday afternoon. Wheeler served as a navigator in a B-17 during WWII in the 15th Air Force. During the war, his plane was shot down over the former Yugoslavia. The crew avoided capture and hid from the enemy for two weeks before they were rescued. The Aluminum Overcast will be available to the public for ground tours and flights May 24-26.

  • Lt. Col. Ken Wheeler, 90, of Gig Harbor tells war stories inside the B-17 Flying Fortress Aluminum Overcast at the Historic Flight Foundation on Wedne...

    Genna Martin / The Herald

    Lt. Col. Ken Wheeler, 90, of Gig Harbor tells war stories inside the B-17 Flying Fortress Aluminum Overcast at the Historic Flight Foundation on Wednesday afternoon. Wheeler served as a navigator in a B-17 during WWII in the 15th Air Force. During the war, his plane was shot down over the former Yugoslavia. The crew avoided capture and hid from the enemy for two weeks before they were rescued. The Aluminum Overcast will be available to the public for ground tours and flights May 24-26.

  • The original radio in the B-17 Aluminum Overcast.

    Genna Martin / The Herald

    The original radio in the B-17 Aluminum Overcast.

Lt. Col. Ken Wheeler, 90, relived a bit of history Wednesday, courtesy of the Historic Flight Foundation at Paine Field in Everett.
Wheeler, who served as a navigator in a B-17 during World War II in the 15th Air Force, was given a tour of the Aluminum Overcast by pilot Rick Fernalld.
During the war, Wheeler's plane was shot down over the former Yugoslavia. The crew avoided capture and hid from the enemy for two weeks before they were rescued.
Poor weather on Wednesday canceled plans for a flight of the restored B-17.
The Aluminum Overcast will be available for ground tours and possible flights Friday, Saturday and Sunday.


Story tags » Paine FieldWar -- historyGo See Do

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