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Fri, Nov 21, 2014

Fantasy Of Flight Hosts Special Private Event

WWII Pilot, POW, To Be Reunited With The Plane That Saved His Life

On Saturday, November 22, 2014, Barney Wasowicz, WWII Army Veteran, former P.O.W., and B-26 Pilot, who was shot down over France by the German Luftwaffe, will be given the opportunity to lay his eyes and hands on an in-tact B-26 Marauder, the same plane he bailed out of over 70 years ago, at the Fantasy of Flight, in Polk City, Florida.

John Stonecipher, CEO of Guidance Aviation, along with Guidance Aviation personnel, will be taking the former WWII Prisoner of War from Arizona to Florida in order for Wasowicz to be reunited with his beloved B-26 Marauder.

"When we discovered that there was an in-tact B-26 at the Fantasy of Flight Museum, we decided it was a perfect way to say thank you to this Veteran who not only served his country so well during wartime as a pilot, but also in peacetime as a firefighter," stated Stonecipher.

Before this trip to Florida became a reality, Wasowicz was taken for a flight by Guidance Aviation's CEO over the Prescott, Arizona region.  "We were surprised that Mr. Wasowicz had not flown an airplane in over 70 years despite his incredible aviation career. We decided he had waited long enough to fly again. It was an incredible honor to take Mr. Wasowicz up for a flight," said Stonecipher.

Although shot down over France, Wasowicz credits the B-26 Marauder for saving the lives of his fellow crew members and himself.  The B-26 is well known in aviation history as an aircraft that could sustain significant battle damage and remain aloft. This attribute provided time for Wasowicz to keep the Marauder flying while his crew members bailed out of the heavily damaged B-26 over France. Only after all his crew members exited the aircraft did Wasowicz bail out.  Eventually, Wasowicz and his crew members were captured by German soldiers and remained  POWs for 15 months until the Soviet army overtook the prison camp, freeing the allied soldiers.

(Image provided by Fantasy of Flight)

FMI: www.fantasyofflight.com

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