A rare airplane is making a few stops in Iowa this week. A fully-restored B-17 bomber called “Aluminum Overcast” is at the Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids today (Tuesday). Iowa native and World War Two veteran Carl Jensen took a tour of the four-engine plane and went for a flight, recalling his service on the same type of plane in 1944. Jensen was a volunteer.
Jensen says “Somebody had to do it. I had several (people) try and talk me out of it as we were going through training, but I was gonna fly. That’s what I enlisted for.” Jensen was with the 388th Bomb Group, 561st Squadron, and he and the crew were shot down in December of 1944. He was one of four from the crew of nine who survived.
He says “The only time I was really scared was after I was shot down. The last I remembered in the plane was when the navigator landed on top of me. When I came to, that was after the plane had blew up.” Aluminum Overcast is one of only about a dozen B-17 warplanes still flying. Tours are available today and tomorrow in Cedar Rapids. The plane will be in the Des Moines area at the Ankeny Airport Friday through July 2nd. For more information, surf to “www.b17.org”.