Feeling Like a Kid with a New Toy…

Upon my first introduction to Old Glory, like a child, I was innately curious. I had flown countless times on large commercial planes and had even flown on private four-seaters. But WOW… the impact this B-25 that just pulled into our hangar’s tarmac had on me was different – on a grand scale – something I could never have imagined!

Once her engines quieted and props slowly ceased their rotations, I felt compelled, drawn in by child-like curiosity to move closer. Nervously looking both left and right. I was fearful I might make a mistake, violating proper procedure. Or worse yet, embarrass myself by exhibiting my pure excitement for the opportunity to get closer to this beauty. I successfully circumvent the massive radial engine, cylinder gills stained from decades of spilled fuel.

Climbing aboard, for the first time.

I was immediately attracted to the nose of the plane, guns piercing their surrounding plexiglass. Cracked and cloudy from years etched in the otherwise clear surfaces, reminding me of the giant hardwoods, with rings documenting their age. I imagined how brave the men fulfilling the Bombardier role must have been, flying high above the ground, exposed to the enemy in a glass fishbowl, for all to see… and to see all!

I remember that day so vividly, my first opportunity to meet Old Glory, climb aboard, EXPLORE. I was wearing white pants and light-pink rhinestone shoes, not ideal for embarking on an oil-covered WWII Bomber – I wasn’t going to let that stop me!

With anticipation and giddiness of a little kid, I climbed up the ladder to the cockpit, giggling with nervousness. Looking around, trying process what my eyes were seeing, I was mesmerized by the significance of this beautiful flying machine. Faded black and white photos were taped to her insides. Names of veterans decorated her inner walls like works of modern art. Some clearly legible, some faded. Others with penmanship so poor their schoolteacher would have been insulted.

Of course, I had to explore more!

After entering the cockpit, I spied the passageway to the Bombardier seat in the nose of the aircraft. A relatively small crawlspace, it reminded me of an HVAC vent painted green. Of course, I had to explore more! Even with my small frame, there was very little wiggle room as I crawled, on hands and knees to my destination.

Unlike the passageway, the Bombardier seat was surprisingly spacious. The metal floor littered with a few old and faded khaki green cushions, like military-issued floor pillows. Apprehensively, I moved closer to the gun, respectful of its power. As if I might accidentally set it off. Looking through the gun sight, I thought of my older brother, and the toys models he used to build of Warbirds like this. WOW, wouldn’t he love to be in this seat right now, and how jealous he’ll be to learn of his kid sister’s latest adventure!

That first encounter with Old Glory elicited such childlike feelings of pure joy and delight in me. Reminiscent of a Christmas morning, and the excited anticipation of what might be left under the tree, bearing my name! I am grateful, to have such joyful memories from my childhood, even from a family with limited means.

To conclude this post I am thrilled to announce The Prescott Foundation’s partnership with the Marine Corps Toys for Tots campaign. With the assistance of the US Navy, not only will a squadron of WWII Warbirds be transported to The 75th Commemoration of the End of WWII. They’ll be accompanied by more than 26 pallets of toys to distribute to children in need in Hawaii!

Through this collaboration, many more children will have the opportunity to… 

Feel Like a Kid with a New Toy.

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