World War II planes on display in Auburn

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Robert Newberry of Windham squeezes along the catwalk as he makes his way through the bomb bay of the Consolidated B-24 Liberator at the Auburn-Lewiston Municipal Airport in Auburn on Wednesday. Newberry said his father flew in a B-24 during World War II. 

The Consolidated B-24 Liberator “Witchcraft” lands at the Auburn-Lewiston Municipal Airport in Auburn on Wednesday. “Witchcraft” is one of four World War II planes that will be at the airport until noon Friday. The plane in the foreground is the B-25 Mitchell “Tondelayo” bomber. 

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People wait in line to climb into the B-17 Flying Fortress “Nine O Nine” at the Auburn-Lewiston Municipal Airport in Auburn on Wednesday. People can explore the inside of “Nine O Nine” and the Consolidated B-24 Liberator “Witchcraft” for $15 for adults and $5 for children under 12. 

AUBURN — Living history was on display Wednesday at the Auburn-Lewiston Municipal Airport when four of the most renowned airplanes of World War II landed for a three-day exhibit.

Dozens of visitors Wednesday explored the rare and fully restored planes as part of the Wings of Freedom Tour.

The Auburn visit is part of a 110-city tour that honors World War II veterans and serves as a flying tribute to their courage and service.

Planes on display include a B-17 Flying Fortress, Consolidated B-24 Liberator, B-25 Mitchell bomber and a P-51 Mustang fighter.

The B-17, B-25 and B-24 were the backbone of the American effort during the war from 1942 to 1945 and were famous for their ability to sustain damage and still accomplish their mission. Despite the risks of anti-aircraft fire, attacking enemy fighters, and the harrowing environment of subzero temperatures, many B-17s and B-24s safely brought their crews home.

The B-25 was famously used during the Doolittle Raid when 16 of them attacked mainland Japan four months after Pearl Harbor.

The P-51 Mustang was affectionately known as the bombers’ “Little Friend” — saving countless crews from enemy fighters.

The exhibit continues from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and from 9 a.m. to noon Friday. The planes will leave Auburn on Friday afternoon for Beverly, Mass., the next stop on their yearlong tour.

The cost to explore the aircraft inside and out is $15 for adults and $5 for children under age 12.

Visitors may want to experience a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take a 30-minute flight aboard one of these vintage aircraft. Flights on either the B-17 or B-24 are $450 per person. The B-25 flights are $400 per person.

Visitors also have the opportunity to fly the P-51 with a trainer at $2,200 for 30 minutes and $3,200 for an hour. 

The 30-minute flight experiences are normally scheduled before and after the ground tours.

Ed Scammon of Scarborough flew 43 missions in a Consolidated B-24 Liberator over the South Pacific during World War II. Scammon was a B-24 gunner while serving in the Air Force 22nd Bomb Group “Silver Fleet.” He and his family came to the Auburn-Lewiston Municipal Airport to see the four World War II planes that flew in Wednesday. 

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