B-17 Bomber: History on Wheels

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ROCHESTER, MN – Rochester is playing host to what some are calling a history lesson on wheels.

This Boeing B-17 bomber dubbed “Sentimental Journey” is making a stop in Rochester as a way to pay tribute and honor veterans of the past, present and future.

“We maintain these airplanes to bring history to the people. Not everyone can come to the museum, so in this case we come to you,” said Chris Schaich, Sentimental Journey Pilot.

As one of the last flying World War II bombers in existence, the “Sentimental Journey” is just that, a journey back in time.

“It’s a great day to come out and reconnect with something that’s almost non-existent anymore. The people from that era are going away so you can’t ask them questions anymore. This stays here and we can answer these questions as well because we’ve heard the stories and we can kind of keep that history alive and pass it on and ask questions,” said Schaich.

The Boeing B-17 was the primary bomber used by the American Air Force against Nazi Germany during the war.

It’s this history that some say, you don’t need to be a buff to appreciate.

“I have an appreciation for the planes but even if you don’t have an appreciation for the planes, the reality that this is part of our flying history, it’s part of our war history. There are men and women who died flying these planes. So it’s an honor thing,” said Rachel Bauer of Madison, Wisconsin.

“It’s like a museum, when your walking through it, it feels like your going through a museum. There’s a little radio area and a Morse code tapper. It’s just cool to be able to touch it, see it, feel it, and experience it,” said Beth Goblet.

While the exhibit is free to those who visit, some like Beth and Rachel, can choose to go one step further and experience the plane in action.

“The planes themselves are a not miss opportunity, but the flight, once in a lifetime,” said Bauer.


A flight inside the historic warbird starts at $425 per person.

For flight reservations, call 602-448-9415 or email: b17rc@azcaf.org.

Tours continue throughout the week from 9 am – 5 pm each day.

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