7/1/2014 4:28:00 PM Rare WWI bomber lands in southern Illinois
MARION, Ill. (AP) — A rare World War II bomber will be housed in a hangar at Williamson County Airport in Marion for the next month as it undergoes maintenance.
The Consolidated B-24 Liberator “Diamond Lil” landed Monday afternoon. Mark Bybee, president of the EAA Experimental Aircraft Association chapter in Carbondale, said the plane arrived from Ohio and will fly on to Wisconsin at the end of July. The plane is part of the Commemorative Air Force museum.
The bomber, built in 1941, survived over the years because it crashed during training and wasn’t used during World War II, Bybee said.
“This plane, because of its value and rarity, needs to be kept in a hangar and the airport has allowed the bomber to be stored in its corporate hangar,” Bybee told the Southern Illinoisan Southern Illinois University aviation students will be able to watch and help crews perform maintenance on the plane.
Korean War veteran Stephen Alley, 82, of Murphysboro, toured the plane on Monday. He said it reminded him of his time with the U.S. Air Force.
The plane also will be available for tours on July 19.