Flying museum is a walk down memory lane for WWII Veterans - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/14/09

Flying museum is a walk down memory lane for WWII Veterans

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The planes that helped America win World War II are here in Lubbock. The flying history museum gave local veterans the chance to walk down memory lane.

"A dream come true. The idea of getting to fly planes for Uncle Sam," says Lubbock resident Owen Clark. At a young age he enlisted in the Army Air Corps and jumped at the opportunity to learn how to fly. He remembers his first flight in a P-51 Mustang. His military career took him all over the world. A decorated veteran, Clark retired a Major in the Air Force.

"World War II started in December of 1941 with Pearl Harbor and I finished my pilots training in August of 1942, when we were right in the middle of war," recalls Clark.

Three World War II planes landed in Lubbock Monday as part of the Wings of Freedom tour and one of those planes Clark was very familiar with. "No I didn't get up on the wing, because I know what it looks like," laughingly recalls Clark. 

The P-51 Mustang is known as "Little Friend" because it escorted the big bombers like the B-24 and the B-17 to their targets in Berlin during the war. "It was a great feeling getting to fly the P-51s. It was so fast and such a beautiful airplane to fly," says Clark.

This Lubbock resident flew helicopters, attack bombers and ferried planes around the country. "When the war was over they were destroyed. There are very few of them left. It's a shame," says Clark about the number of vintage planes around today.

Clark celebrated his 88th birthday last month and says seeing the P-51 Mustang brought back many memories.

If you'd like to see the planes that helped America win WWII they will be in Lubbock at the airport until noon Wednesday.

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