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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spin Control: Time to rethink rides on World War II bombers

Even though it means the organizations will lose a source of funding from the contributions they get for short flights over the host cities, the public rides should stop. The takeoffs and landings are getting too risky to use them as passenger planes.

2007: Wings of Freedom in Spokane

In 2007, photojournalist Colin Mulvany rode in the Collings Foundation's B-17 bomber, the Nine-0-Nine. The plane slid off the runway in Connecticut Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2019, in a crash that killed multiple passengers and crew. Here is a look back at one of the rare airworthy bombers of World War II.

Five WWII combat planes touch down at Spokane airport

On display were five American bombers and fighter planes first introduced during World War II, brought to Spokane as part of a nationwide tour hosted by the Collings Foundation, a nonprofit based in Massachusetts. Visitors could explore the insides of the aircraft and, for a sizable investment, embark on 30-minute instructional flights.

Wings of Freedom tour

The Collings Foundation cares for several rare World War II aircraft and the organization brought three of them to Spokane this week. There is a B-24, a B-17 and a P-51C. The planes are on display Monday, June 29 through Wednesday, July 1 at Landmark Aviation at 8136 W. Pilot Dr. on the Geiger side of Spokane International Airport. The planes will leave around noon Wednesday. For a small admission fee, visitors can walk through the airplanes. More information at

Doug Clark: Hug from father to son waited a lifetime

The father and child reunion took place Jan. 7 inside a modest apartment in Independence, Missouri. Richard A. Hodge, 72, a retired Spokane photographer, had come to finally meet the man who had dropped out of his life when he was a baby – 99-year-old Richard L. Hodge.

Huckleberries: ‘Stickman’ Oss flying high after fan’s generous donation

Stickman was aboard that vintage World War II B-17 that flew over Coeur d’Alene on Tuesday afternoon, thanks to a generous fan. A Vietnam War vet, Stickman (aka Norm Oss) has delighted thousands by freely distributing his hand-carved walking sticks from a breezeway near Coeur d’Alene’s East Tubbs Hill Park. He was sitting in that breezeway minus his sticks when I handed him an envelope filled with $450 in cash Monday afternoon.

‘Bloody Hundredth’ WWII bombardier’s life story compiled by brother

Bill Heath was barely 21 back in the fall of 1943 when he arrived at Thorpe Abbots airfield in southeastern England, a second lieutenant reporting for duty as a B-17 bombardier. It was the early days of the U.S. Army’s controversial daylight bombing campaign over Nazi-occupied Europe. The Newport, Wash., kid was among the fresh crews sent to help replenish the rapidly depleting ranks of the 100th Bombardment Group, which took such heavy losses it became known as “The Bloody Hundredth.”

‘Memphis Belle’ on display at Felts Field

A restored Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress is making Felts Field in east Spokane its base of operations this weekend for free viewing and paid flights. The aircraft is named “Memphis Belle” after being used in a 1990 movie about the original Memphis Belle, a legendary World War II bomber that was the first Flying Fortress to complete 25 combat missions.

Flying fortress at felts

Bob Zeoli’s father, Alfred Zeoli, was a top turret gunner in a B-17 that went down over France during World War II. On Friday, Bob Zeoli got to ride in a World War II-era Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, nicknamed the Aluminum Overcast, that’s visiting Felts Field.

Widow of Spokane pilot returns to village where plane went down

This spring, a French village honored the American crew of a World War II bomber at a memorial dedication attended by the Spokane widow of the plane’s pilot and their son. “They are a people who still remember,” said Pauline “Paula” Lorenzi, 88, one of 17 Americans and nearly 500 French to attend the May 28 ceremony in Le Cardonnois, France.

B-17 Flying Fortress crashes

A B-17 bomber dating to World War II apparently made an emergency landing today in a cornfield outside Chicago before it was consumed by fire while the seven people aboard escaped uninjured, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. (AP)

WWII B-17 bomber consumed by fire near Chicago

A B-17 bomber dating to World War II apparently made an emergency landing today in a cornfield outside Chicago before it was consumed by fire while the seven people aboard escaped uninjured, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Factory that produced B-17s set for demolition, cleanup

SEATTLE — Step inside Boeing’s cavernous Plant 2 along East Marginal Way South — large enough to hold eight football fields — and it’s hard to imagine a pilot might fly over this facility and not notice it. But as Boeing’s CEO Jim Albaugh said Sunday, “When you’re building B-17s, you don’t want the bad guys to know where it is.”