(DALLAS – April 16, 2015) —Aviation enthusiasts will experience “hands on” history when the world’s oldest flying bomber, the Consolidated B-24 Liberator Diamond Lil, visits Sun n Fun in Lakeland, Florida this week. The aircraft, operated by the Commemorative Air Force (CAF), will arrive at approximately 3:00 p.m. Monday and will be staged on the warbird ramp where it will be available for guided tours and rides throughout the event. Rides can be purchased in advance at www.AirPowerTour.org.
The B-24 Liberator was one of the workhorse bombers of the World War II era. Although those hostilities ended 70 years ago and most of the airplanes flown during the war were scrapped, the Commemorative Air Force still owns and operates one of only two of the remaining B-24s in the world. Their B-24, Diamond Lil, is the world’s oldest continuously flying airplane from WWII and is the same type of airplane in which Louis Zamperini, the subject of the book and recent movie Unbroken, was a bombardier. His airplane, named Green Hornet, went down in the Pacific. Zamperini survived the crash, became a Japanese POW and went on to make a huge impact on many people with his story of courage and faith. Diamond Lil visits airports throughout the United States to tell stories like these -- bringing the sights, sounds and stories of World War II aviation history to the public at large.
“The Commemorative Air Force is unique, we aren’t like other museums,” said CAF President/CEO Stephan Brown. “We start our engines, we fly our airplanes and we get loud, taking history to the public, not waiting for them to come to us. Diamond Lil’s visit to DeLand is an opportunity for the CAF to continue doing what we do best, educating and reminding Americans of the cost of our freedom.”
About the CAF’s B-24 Liberator Diamond Lil:
Diamond Lil, built in 1941, was the 25th B-24 produced by Consolidated Aircraft Corporation. It is the oldest remaining B-24. Out of the over 18,000 produced, this airplane is one of only two still flying today. The CAF purchased this B-24A in 1967 and she has performed majestically before thousands of people for over 40 years. Originally configured as Diamond Lil, a transport aircraft, with markings of the 98th Bomb Group, she underwent a major restoration in 2006 with the intent of returning her back to the original bomber configuration and renamed Ol’ 927. In the winter of 2011-2012 the Squadron voted to return the name Diamond Lil to the aircraft with newly updated nose art. The airplane is maintained and operated by the volunteers of the Commemorative Air Force’s B-29/B-24 Squadron based at the new CAF National Air Base in Dallas, Texas.
About the Commemorative Air Force:
The Commemorative Air Force honors the men and women who built, maintained and flew in these airplanes during World War II. The organization believes that is best accomplished by maintaining the airplanes in flying condition; taking the airplanes to the people allowing them to experience the aircraft in flight.
Collecting, restoring and flying vintage historical aircraft for more than half a century, the CAF ranks as one of the largest private air forces in the world. The CAF is dedicated to Honoring
American Military Aviation through flight, exhibition and remembrance. A non-profit educational organization, the CAF has approximately 12,000 members and a fleet of over 160 airplanes distributed throughout the country to 70 units located across the United States for care and operation. For more information, visit www.commemorativeairforce.org.
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