WWII Wings of Freedom Tour flying in to Groton-New London Airport

Groton — Five World War II bomber and fighter aircraft will visit the Groton-New London Airport from Sept. 9 to 11, part of the Collings Foundation's 110-city nationwide Wings of Freedom Tour in honor of WWII veterans. 

The B-17 Flying Fortress “Nine O Nine," B-24 Liberator “Witchcraft,” B-25 Mitchell "Tondelayo" bombers, P-51 Mustang "Toulouse Nuts" and P-40 Warhawk "Jaws" fighters will fly into the Groton-New London Airport at noon Sept. 9 and remain on display until the aircraft departs at noon Sept. 11.

"This is a rare opportunity to visit, explore, and learn more about these unique and rare treasures of aviation history," the event notices states.

The tour "travels the nation as a flying tribute to the flight crews who flew them, the ground crews who maintained them, the workers who built them, the soldiers, sailors and airmen they helped protect; and the citizens and families that share the freedom that they helped preserve," the notice adds.

The aircraft will be on display in the main terminal of the airport at 140 Tower Ave. Hours of ground tours and display are noon through 5 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 9; 9:30 a.m. through 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10, and 9:30 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, Sept. 11. To attend, $15 for adults and $5 for children under 12 is requested for access to up-close viewing and tours through the inside of the aircraft. Discounted rates are available for school groups.

Visitors also may take a 30-minute flight aboard the aircraft. Flights on either the B-17 or B-24 are $450 per person. B-25 flights are $400 per person. P-40 Warhawk flight training is $2,200 for a half hour and $3,200 for a full hour. P-51 flight training is $2,400 for a half-hour and $3,400 for a full hour. The 30-minute flight experiences normally are scheduled before and after the ground tour times above. Reservations and information on flight experiences are available by calling (800) 568-8924.

This is the 30th year of the nationwide Wings of Freedom Tour. The Collings Foundation is a nonprofit educational foundation that organizes "living history" events. More information is available at collingsfoundation.org.

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