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Literal pieces of history

There's a white-haired Spokane man whose older brother died in 1943 when his B-17 collided in midair with an on-fire German fighter over The Netherlands.

I have talked to this gentleman several times over the years. I know he's on the level. But I hadn't met him in person until today.

He has exhaustively researched what happened on that day 69 years ago, including making a trip to Europe. He met with members of the family that has for generations farmed the land where the Flying Fortress crashed. They gave him a couple of small pieces of the doomed B-17 that had been kept in a barn since the war.

There's a finger-sized piece of shattered plexiglass and a small, rusted temperature gauge.

Today he brought them to the newspaper to show me. 

Handling these artifacts was a bit surreal. I don't suppose I will forget it.

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About this blog

Features writer Paul Turner is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review in the Features department. He writes "The Slice" column, which appears six times a week and produces general features stories for the Today section.

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