WWII Flying Fortress Moves To Conroe
Photo Credit- Kevin Hong/ SectorKMedia
The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) is pleased to announce that one of their World War II aircraft, the B-17 Flying Fortress Texas Raiders, will be moving to a hangar at General Aviation Services on the north side of Conroe-North Houston Regional Airport at the end of January. The vintage heavy bomber is maintained and operated by the CAF Gulf Coast Wing, a group of volunteer members who operate the aircraft as an educational tool to honor and remember those who served our country during World War II.
By the end of World War II the United States and her Allies had deployed the largest air armada the world had ever seen, and 12,731 B-17 aircraft had joined those forces in combat. Today, only about nine iconic B-17 bombers still fly. Texas Raiders was one of the last B-17s ever built, coming off the manufacturing line in July 1945, just as World War II was ending. The aircraft’s military career included scouting, search and rescue and weather reconnaissance. After the War, this B-17 went on to become a seismic survey aircraft and in 1967 was acquired by the CAF to be restored to her military configuration and become part of the CAF’s flying museum.
This year Texas Raiders celebrates 50 years of service to the CAF, and the Gulf Coast wing members continue to offer the public the opportunity to tour and fly on the iconic aircraft. In addition to local appearances, Texas Raiders performs regularly in airshows, civic events and flyovers throughout the U.S., reuniting veterans and the public with the historic WWII aircraft, including performances each year at CAF Wings Over Houston Airshow.
“We are so very pleased to welcome Texas Raiders and the CAF to Conroe,” said Harold Hutcheson, manager of the Conroe Visitor’s Bureau. “She will be a great addition to our community and we look forward to working with her crew.” Texas Raiders is scheduled to land in Conroe at the first of February. The hangar at General Aviation Services will also host a CAF twin-engine cargo plane from World War II, the Navy JRB-6. This year, both aircraft will appear at public events at Conroe airport, as well as other events across the country. For more information, see www.B17TexasRaiders.org