This weekend, the people of Casper are in for a special treat. The Collings Foundation is bringing their collection of beautifully restored Second World War warbirds to the Casper Natrona County International Airport for the weekend.

You will have a chance to see, hear and touch legendary pieces of flying history...the B-17 Flying Fortress, B-24 Liberator, B-25 Mitchell and P-51 Mustang.

And if you are able, you can even buy a ride on one of these classic WWII aircraft. And to give you a taste, I've included a story I did back in Texas about the planes, and one very special pilot.

A special thanks to my old colleagues at KETK-TV in Tyler, TX for permission to use this story. Just ignore the Texas reference and you'll get the idea.

They are the planes that saved civilization.  They carried the greatest generation to war, and to victory.

And this weekend you can step back in time, to an era when young men raised their hands and volunteered to save the world.

As they bank over the field, it’s difficult not to think back, to other fields, and a time when the world was in the balance.

They are beautiful but deadly.  Made of aluminum and American ingenuity, the B-17 Flying Fortress and B-24 Liberator were the bludgeon used to bring the Third Reich and Imperial Japan to their knees.

The Wings of Freedom tour is flying across the country sponsored by the Collings Foundation, and this weekend, they are in Casper.

Our journey began in Shreveport where we boarded the B-24 Liberator, the plane flown by men like Jimmy Stewart, Lloyd Bentson and George McGovern…and Roy Fulco.

“I was a real double-barrel rookie,” he joked.

After pre-flight checks, the bomb bay was closed and we powered up.

Watching Roy during takeoff it was apparent the Liberator was a time machine…taking him back to  9 missions over Germany, long, loud, dangerous flights where gunners were always on alert for fighters, and if nature called, there was the ultimate in luxury lavatories.

Back to the mission where he had to bail out of a burning plane at 23,000 feet and spent 8 months as a POW.

And then, all too soon, it is over as our 23-tons of living history sets down on the runway at Tyler Pounds. 

But you can book a seat for a flight in any of the World War Two aircraft.

So, if you want to see, smell and touch a bit of history, the Wings of Freedom will be at Casper Natrona County International Airport through the weekend.

As for Roy…

“How’d you like the flight?” we asked.

“It was OK,” he laughed.

So come on out Friday through Sunday, and particularly, bring the kids. Believe me, these warbirds literally bring history to life.