After Crash, WWII Pilot Remembers Flying B-17 Bomber


BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Former World War II Pilot Vincent J. "Bill" Purple said he doesn't understand why the vintage B-17 bomber crashed at Bradley International Airport in Connecticut earlier this week.

The crash of the vintage plane on Wednesday left seven people dead, including two pilots. Thirteen people were on board at the time.

2 Pilots Among 7 Killed In B-17 Crash In Connecticut - Thumbnail Image

2 Pilots Among 7 Killed In B-17 Crash In Connecticut

"I have been in that B-17, the 909, a multiple amount of times," Purple said. "I just don't understand... I suspect they made a 180, and then another 180 and attempted to land, but something failed with the aircraft."

Purple became a pilot during World War II when he was nineteen years old, having graduated from flight school in March of 1944, and the first airplane he flew after that was a B-17.

"It was a marvelous aircraft, it did its job, it was safe to fly, it was easy to fly, and under most conditions it brought you home," Purple said.

Purple went on 35 combat missions before leaving the U.S. Air Force as a captain.

"You name the targets, I've been to them," he said.

WBZ NewsRadio's Ben Parker spoke to Purple about what it was like to fly a B-17 bomber.

Listen to the full conversation:

(Photo: Collings Foundation/Facebook)

Follow WBZ NewsRadio: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | iHeartmedia App

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content