Wings of Freedom Tour brings WW II history to life

For Ellis Blanton, seeing WW II planes up close is priceless.

Blanton spent 20 years in the Navy before retiring as a commander. 

He is one of many veterans and civilians getting an up-close look at the historic planes during the Wings of Freedom Tour in Venice this weekend.

“Look what they did for us,” said Blanton. “They didn’t want to go over and fight, but they did. But they did it very well and they came back men.”

“For a WWII vet to see their own airplane, a lot of them will cry,” said Robert Pinkston with the Collings Foundation. “They haven’t seen them in 80 years and it’s a very traumatic part of their life, so it’s always positive.”

The last flying WWII B-24 Liberator and the North American P-51 Mustang fighter plane are just two of the planes on display. 

The Collings Foundation will have these planes on display at the Venice Municipal Airport through Jan. 26. 

See the Wings of Freedom Tour schedule here.