Local veteran takes another flight on Flying Fortress

cliddy@newsobserver.comSeptember 16, 2013 

Of the 12,732 B-17 Flying Fortress bombers made, only 13 are still in service today.

This one, dubbed the "Memphis Belle," is operated by the Liberty Foundation and is in Burlington for public flights and ground tours Saturday and Sunday.

Organizers also invited at least one veteran to come aboard during a flight Monday from Burlington-Alamance Regional Airport.

George Parrish, 91, of Burlington, a former tech sergeant during World War II, was a waist gunner in more than 30 combat missions on a B-17 such as this one.

Parrish said the flight brought back a lot of memories.

He said, "On D-Day we were flying a general around so he could observe the invasion. We decided to get real low and went under the cloud cover at about 800 feet. Then we started getting hit from shrapnel and realized it was from our ships' artillery barrage ... let me tell you we got out of there pretty quick."

Enjoy this video of his ride, then view more photos of the B-17 in Burlington.

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