This noon I attended another “Coffee with the Curator” program at the Museum of Flight. As I left the building, I found it has become a beautiful day. Though sunny and warm, there was a cool breeze coming across the neighboring airfield. I decided to sketch, again, the Museum’s Flying Fortress Boeing B-17 F . It is back on display and open for tours. The internal tour costs additional entry but is well worth it. To see the conditions under which the aircraft crew fought the war is nothing short of amazing. It demonstrates the courage of these quiet heroes.
As I worked on my sketches, I thought even more about those airmen as it was recently the 70th Anniversary of D-Day. It actually still is as the battle to move inland continued for weeks. I’ve sketched this aircraft twice before. I think this is the best of the group. I’ve added the “Bee” graphic as a bit of photo collage. One of the Museum volunteers who talked to me as I sketched said she had just talked with the man who painted the Bee on the aircraft! Darn, I’d like to have talked with him, too!
Since I’m a volunteer, I was allowed into the enclosure so I could sit on the ground under the wing in order to sketch the B17-F ball turret gun. When I took the interior tour a couple years ago, I was most astounded by the courage of the men who were ball gunners. Here is a graphic from the display on how the gunner was fit into the turret! Can you imagine spending 6-8 hours cramped in this position, hardly able to move, while under fire!