Visitors from across West Virginia and beyond made the trek to Yeager Airport over the weekend to get an up-close look at a piece of history in motion.
The Yankee Lady, one of only 10 World War II era B-17 bombers still airworthy, spent Saturday and Sunday at the Charleston airport as part of the Yankee Air Museum’s “Honor the Heroes” tour. Aviation enthusiasts were able to check out the plane on self-guided tours, or book a 35-minute flight on the aircraft, which rolled off a California assembly line on July 16, 1945.
Though the Yankee Lady did not see combat during World War II, it was used by the Coast Guard for long-range iceberg patrol flights and on air-sea rescue missions. After retiring from Coast Guard duty, it was later used as a tool to fight forest fires.
The Michigan-based Yankee Air Museum purchased the aircraft in 1986 and spent nine years restoring it to its original configuration and upgrading its operating systems.