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B-17 'Madras Maiden' Touring The U.S. To Salute Veterans

Aircraft Has Been Making Stops Around The Country Since March

One of the last remaining B-17 Flying Fortresses has been touring the country since March, and is currently making stops in cities in the southern U.S.

According to The Liberty Foundation, which is conducting the tour of the restored the B-17 "Madras Maiden", this particular aircraft was built in 1944, has never before toured or been available to the public for flight experiences.

According to the foundation, there were a total of 12,732 B-17's that were produced between 1935 and May 1945. Of these 4,735 were lost in combat. Following WWII, the B-17 saw service in three more wars. B-17's were used in Korea, Israel used them in the war of 1948 and they were even used during Vietnam.

Today, fewer than 100 B-17 airframes exist and fewer still are in airworthy condition. At one time, more than 1000 B-17's could be assembled for mass combat missions, now fewer than 15 of Boeing's famous bombers can still take to the sky.

The aircraft was first delivered to the USAAF in October, 1944. She never saw combat, spending her military life as a radar aircraft, then as an all-weather research aircraft. She was finally dropped from the inventory as surplus in May, 1959.

She was then purchased by the American Compressed Steel Corp. of Cincinnati, OH on August 18, 1959 for the sum of $5,026.00 and become N3701G on the U.S. Civil register. Later sold again to a company in Florida and converted to a freighter, she flew produce between south Florida and the Caribbean.

She was sold to the Erickson Collection, an aviation museum in Madras Oregon. Restored to her combat configuration and painted in the colors of the 381st Bomb Group, and sporting the Madras Maiden nose-art, N3701G flies today to honor our veterans, educate current and future generations as to the high price of freedom and to preserve our aviation heritage, according to The Liberty Foundation website.

For the next month, Madras Maiden will be making stops in Louisville, KY, Nashville, TN, Memphis, TN and Fort Worth, TX. More dates are expected to be announced as the month progresses.

(Image from The Liberty Foundation Facebook page)

FMI: www.libertyfoundation.org/index.html

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