It was a decisive moment in the history of the world. Much was at risk. From 1942 to mid 1944, Germany had the advantage: experience, years preparing for the inevitable air war, and great engineers behind extremely well designed machines. One plane however, was to overcome all of these odds and prove that persistence was a much greater power than fear. This airplane was the B-17 Flying Fortress, and the legacy it leaves behind is unmatched in the history of aviation.
Please join us to Celebrate the Legacy and 70th Anniversary of the B-17' "Flying Fortress" in Combat over Europe on November 10, 2012 at The Yankee Air Museum Gala.
Kevin Walsh, Executive Director
Celebrating the B-17 Flying Fortress' Contribution to History
We would like to thank everyone for their support! The 2012 Gala has officially been sold out!
November 10, 2012
2012 Guest Speaker
Former University of Michigan Athletic Director and Football Coach
Robert Shoens was assigned to the 100th Bomb Group, 351st Bomb Squadron for combat duty in December 1943. On the famous BERLIN raid of March 6, 1944, while piloting his B-17G "Our Gal Sal" his crew were credited with shooting down two enemy aircraft. During this mission the 8th Air Force lost 69 bombers, with the 100th Bomb Group losing 15 . Bob and his Crew were the only aircraft to return from the 351st squadron that day. During his tour Capt Shoens completed 28 missions, hitting such heavily defended targets as BERLIN, REGENSBURG, FRANKFURT and MUNICH. His 28th and final mission was flown on May 1, 1944 in 'Our Gal Sal'. His medals include the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Clusters.
Joseph W. Edwards Joe enlisted in the U. S. Army Air Corps in 1942. He was a pilot with the Flying Forces of the 96th bomber group stationed in Snetterton Heath, England. In the months after V-E Day, he piloted humanitarian missions with food rations and supplies to war-ravaged Holland. Accustomed to higher altitudes, Joe remembered having to fly dangerously close to the ground to drop the rations, dodging church spires over The Hague and seeing Dutch civilians eagerly cheering on the American pilots from bridges. From Holland, they flew on to Austria to retrieve French prisoners of war, and transported them back to Paris before returning to England. Joe later recounted seeing Frenchmen risk their lives jumping out of his plane before he could bring it to a halt, to kiss the ground in their euphoria to be repatriated. After earning a degree in business administration from the U of M he joined Edwards Bros Book Publishers. in 1948, and became president of the Ann Arbor-based company.