The name of this plane is Sentimental Journey. Built in late 1944, she was too late to see action in Europe, and instead was sent to the Pacific Theater for the duration of the war. Now, she is a flying museum and part of an awesome project by the Arizona Wing CAF Aircraft Museum. You can read about the museum's history and how this plane was restored to its original glory here.
Without further ado, here she is:
And of course, the pin-up girl is the famous Betty Grable. Here's a little interesting tidbit. Betty was pregnant when she had this picture taken, thus the reason why she's peeking over her shoulder!
Look at those engines.
Now this position would have left me in a cold sweat - the ball turret gunner. This guy had to get into this tiny ball underneath the plane. One thing is for sure - he had a great view of the action.
Here's the cockpit where the pilot and co-pilot were. It's cramped.
The radio operator sat here - look at that swell radio!
This is one of the waist gunner's machine guns. There were two men in this position. Look at those bullets.
This is the nose of the plane where the bombardier and navigator sat. It's pretty cramped, too.
I got to see the plane take off and land since, if you were lucky enough to have $425, you could actually take a ride in it. Unfortunately, I didn't have $425 on me (ha!).
Definitely a worthwhile experience, and it only cost me $5. The gas to get there was more! But I wouldn't have missed this opportunity to see a part of history and try to get a sense of what the crews of these amazing planes went through.
For a schedule of where the Sentimental Journey will be headed next, click here.