Tag Archives: England

WWII and the B-17, The Rose of York – A Time to Remember

            Jerry Dixon

Last week’s news had ex-Marine Corps Pilot, FASF news scout, and long-time member, Jerry Dixon (L), on the prowl for some appropriate memories for our WWII Yanks and Queen Elizabeth II’s last flight into the sunset.  The video itself was created by “HISTORIC WINGS.

He found the following short (8 min) video commemorating the B-17, The Rose of York, christened with that name to honor the extremely gracious and hospitable young Princess Elizabeth of York, her very first Royal Title. Here, below, is that memory in video form. This first image of the video will play in a separate window, one hosted by YouTube, itself.  The second image will show the video right here on the FASF site.

                                Video in memory of the long reigning Queen of England, The Rose of York.

To see this film embedded right here, just click the following image.  We strongly recommend you open the screen view to full size in order to properly enjoy the experience: 

Here below are some more photos of the Royal event with the 306th Bomb Group’s Rose of York saga:                      Photo of Book Cover “Rose of York” written by Clarence Simonsen

A grainy but nice close-up of the Rose of York nose art with the Princess and her father, the King. Two things are evident here – the nose art was very professionally done and the Princess was a very beautiful young lady at 18 years.

This photo was taken from the base tower of the entire ceremony as it took place in front of the hangar.

And, here’s another interesting twist in a 78-year-old WWII story:  The return of the Rose of York in modern times. Rose of York lives on again:

Boeing KC-135R aerial refueling tanker at Pease Air National Guard Base, New Hampshire, 9 September 2009.

The tanker recently was affixed with replica nose art to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the christening of the original Rose of York and the bravery and selfless service of all of her crew members, including her first Aircraft Commander and New Hampshire resident Joseph Couris.

In 1944 Joseph Couris was stationed at Thurleigh Royal Air Force Base near Bedford, England serving as a B-17 Aircraft Commander in the 306th Bombardment Group, 367th Bombardment Squadron of the U.S. Eighth Army Air Force. Tech. Sgt Stephens and Staff Sgt. Johnson of the NHANG, designed the new decal and all three unit members installed the nose art on the tanker. Photo: 157th Air Refueling Wing NHANG.

Close-up of new Rose of York’s artwork . . . not as complete and polished as the original. Photo by Fergal Goodman

SHUTTLEWORTH – See century old airplanes actually fly!

There is no place on planet earth where one can readily see such a wide variety of airplanes designed and built over a century ago actually take to the air with pilots guiding them aloft and safely back to Terra Firma.  These are exceptionally skilled pilots who are but a fraction of their airplane’s age. Please bear in mind that most of the antique aircraft in the museum’s collection are quite difficult – and even dangerous to fly – especially when compared to the inherently stable airplanes of today.

Here, below, is a full length video of 60 minutes duration, in which one can enjoy this renown collection of vintage, historic and modern aircraft in action.  It is located at the Old Warden Aerodrome, Old Warden in Bedfordshire, England.  This unique collection is not just of aircraft, but also of vintage road traveling vehicles, too.  Sir John Allison, opens the film with a clear description of the Shuttleworth Collection and of its history.  Once in Great Britain, it is easy to reach the Aerodrome and even easier to find nearby onsite convenient parking, should one be traveling by or with their own or a rented auto.  The Collection’s home page is right here.

On your next visit to the British Isles, don’t forget to book a visit to this colorful collection of both vintage aircraft and motor vehicles.  Their special event Airshows are widely acclaimed as being more than worth the time and trouble to experience.  Should you be flying yourself around Great Britain, be advised that you can fly right onto the Old Warden Aerodrome, and that there isn’t even a landing fee! 

Many of the Collection’s aircraft predate the First Aero’s fabled Jennys.  If you are planning a visit to England, you might want to check the Shuttleworth Air Show schedule so that you can include one of their shows in your visit.