SAN ANTONIO - A flying memorial to honor World War II veterans will be in town for the next few days. It gives WWII veterans who are still living a unique chance to take a step back in time.
For 94-year-old World War II veteran Hugh Kelly, visiting the exhibit was like deja vu.
"There is a lot of nostalgia here," Kelly said. "I was glad to see the B-17, which I wanted to fly when I got out of flight school, but I was sent to B-24."
The war bird is one of four others on display at the Collings Foundation's Wings of Freedom Tour. It's meant to get veterans back in touch with the aircraft they may have flown in years ago.
"As long as the airplanes all stayed in formation, we made it quite well," Kelly said. "In our 400 hours, our crew only had flak hit the airplane about twice."
The aircraft remain resilient, even 70 years later. Take the B-24 liberator, for example. Of 18,000 built, 12 remain. The one at the exhibit can still fly and has become a memorial for those like Linda Williams, whose uncle fought in the war.
"It was so wonderful to be able to experience it like he did, because I knew he looked out those windows," Williams said. "I wish we could afford to fly all of them for him, but he was with us."
The tour makes more than 100 stops across the country each year. Organizers hope the exhibit helps give the past a future, by bridging a gap between the next generation so the history isn't lost once the last veterans are gone.
Those interested in seeing the exhibit can do so until March 19 at the Stinson Municipal Airport.
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