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Wings of Freedom Tour lands in Alexandria

Mary Beth and Allan Dolezal of Verndale had their photo taken by their grandson, Josh Lentz (right) of Browerville, next to a B-24J Liberator. This is the last of its kind flying in the world. Allan was scheduled to go up for a flight in the bomber Tuesday night – he said it was on his bucket list. He’s an Air Force veteran and he’s studied and read about WWII aircraft for the last 60 years. (Amy Chaffins/Echo Press)1 / 4
The Lymenstull and Sprick families from Illinois vacation in the Alexandria area every summer and on Tuesday, Amber Lymenstull, 8; Tyler Sprick, 8; Scott Sprick, 12; and Parker Lymenstull, 11; checked out the WWII aircraft at Chandler Field. The Lymenstull kids’ great-grandfather, Allie Lymenstull, was a bow gunner in the B-24 Liberator in the Philippine Islands during WWII. (Amy Chaffins/Echo Press)2 / 4
The B-24J Liberator was one of three WWII-era aircraft on display at Chandler Field in Alexandria earlier this week. Visitors had an opportunity to climb inside and get a closer look. Bombers like the B-24J were the backbone of U.S. efforts and were famous for their ability to sustain damage and still accomplish the mission, according to Wings of Freedom Tour organizers.3 / 4
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Relics of aviation history flew into Alexandria this week as part of the Wings of Freedom Tour. Three aircraft were displayed Monday through Wednesday at Chandler Field – a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress “Nine O Nine” WWII Heavy Bomber, the Consolidated B-24 Liberator “Witchcraft” WWII Heavy Bomber and a P-51 Mustang Fighter.

Visitors had the opportunity to climb aboard, explore and learn more about the aircraft. There were also a few people who took a 30-minute flight.

The Wings of Freedom Tour travels the nation as a tribute to the flight crews, ground crews, manufacturers and veterans, citizens and families that share the freedom they helped preserve.

The Collings Foundation is the non-profit that organized the tour. This is the 25th year of the Wings of Freedom Tour, which averages visits to 110 cities in 35 states each year.

Amy Chaffins

Amy Chaffins is a journalist working for the Echo Press newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota.

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