The B29 was known as the “Super Fortress.” Only two are still in the air since it saw duty during World War 2. “Fifi” is one of them. It carried precious cargo during the great war including George Collins.
“Remember what you did on the b-29? I was the mechanic. I did everything.”— George Collins / B29 Mechanic
Collins, now 100 years old, got to take a ride in his wheelchair for a reunion of sorts, to Mount Comfort Airport.
“When ever it needed anything i had a job working on it.
There was a time when i could take it apart and put it back together but i wouldn’t want to try it now.”— George Collins / B29 Mechanic
That was 80 years ago….
“There were two bomb bays and each could hold up to ten thousand pounds of bombs. These were 500 pounders so we could have 20 in each bay.” — Service man
So there he sat, listening to the current crew for the “Fifi” talk about the plane that was put into service shortly before the war ended.
It didn’t take long for them to turn their attention to the man who helped keep them flying.
“You got to change the engines right out in the weather didn’t you?” Service man asked, “Oh yeah,” George replied. “Well thank you, Thank you for your service,” the service men said.
“When you are a mechanic on one of them you are all over it. You see a little bit of everything don’t you. Ya sure do. Brings back a lot of memories.” — George Collins / B29 Mechanic
That is what this trip was all about. George’s daughter, Pam and a family friend, wanted George to remember.
“This is so special for my dad. He doesn’t remember a lot anymore but he remembers that he did this. He may not remember this tomorrow,
But we will have pictures to show him and it is such a special thing to reconnect him with part of his past.”—- Pam Riley / George’s Daughter
He already has a scrap book to look at but this, this is the real thing.
“He said he always had to go up with the pilots and fly around for awhile and if something was wrong, they’d land, he would work on it and then go back out and be several times a day he would take rides in them.”— Jerry Grilliot / Family Friend
It was a great day for a member of the greatest generation.
“They’re very good airplanes!” — George Collins / B29 Mechanic