WWII fighter pilot takes flight on B-29 Superfortress

WWII veteran flies again

FORT WORTH -- A Dallas World War II Veteran stepped back in time, climbing aboard a B-29 Superfortress as it took to the skies.

Ed Gray, now 98, was a fighter pilot flying missions over the Pacific during the war, a First Lieutenant in the 19th Fighter Squadron, 7th Air Force.

He piloted a P-47, escorting bombing runs over enemy islands, and he  was on a mission to meet the first B-29 as it traveled across the Pacific.

"It was a beautiful thing," Gray said.  "It was bigger than anything you could imagine at that time."

Thousands of B-29s were eventually put into service, including the Enola Gay, which carried the atomic bomb.

Gray had never flown aboard a B-29, but this afternoon, he finally got his chance with FIFI, one of two B-29s that still flies.

The plane travels across the country, but its home hangar is in Fort Worth at Meacham International Airport.  It's carefully maintained and operated by the Commemorative Air Force.

"I'm so happy they're keeping this going," Gray said.

Gray climbed up a ladder into the cockpit, and took his seat in the place of honor: the bombardier's seat at the very front of the plane, with the best view through its massive panoramic window.

FIFI took off just after 3pm, en route to New Orleans, where it will be a main attraction at the WWII AirPower Expo this weekend, an event hosted by the National World War II Museum and the Commemorative Air Force.

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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