B-17 Bomber Lands in Dothan, Honors Local WWII Veterans

By: Muriel Bailey Email
By: Muriel Bailey Email

DOTHAN, AL--Today is a special day for WWII Veteran, Arthur Osepchook.
Arthur hasn't rode in a B-17 in 68 years.
In 1944 he flew on the silver dollar B-17 in mission 74.
He says he remembers that mission, like it was yesterday.

"If it wasn't for the radio operator telling us Jesus Christ they're dropping bombs on us about that time the plane shook I had to get out," explained Osepchook.

That B-17 crashed after it's tail was blown off.
Only 2 of the 10 man crew survived.
Arthur is one of the two.

"It was a miracle I was blessed," added Osepchook.

Arthur says he still has memories about the others who didn't make it.

"I feel sad about the ones that never got out. They were good crews they were young 20-21."

Arthur sat as the 'Ball Turret Gunner,' in order to be the gunner and fit in the small spot you had to be no taller than 5'6.

"The ball turret is very uncomfortable," explained Osepchook.

WWII Veteran Fred Fellows also flew on B-17's over Germany.

"We weren't flying for fun," said Fellows.

He describes the aircraft in 3 words.

"It's a tough old bird."

A 'tough old bird' he says has a sound like no other.

After the crash Arthur was taken as a Prisoner of War for 14 months.
He later went on to complete other missions.
He says he'd do it all again.

If you'd like to tour or fly on the B-17, you can do so Friday and this weekend.
Ground tours : 2-5 p.m. Individual Rate $10 Family Rate $20.
Veterans/Active Military-Free

Mission flights start at $400 10 a.m.- 2p.m.

To book a flight call 1-800-359-6217

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