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WWII Vets Taking Trip Back In Time On B-29

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ADDISON (CBSDFW.COM) – It was an emotional day for some World War II Veterans in Addison as they sat inside one of the greatest fighting machines of the war.

John Swoboda was looking forward to it. He’d come all the way from New York.  After all, it had been more than 65 years since he’d seen it.

Walking with a cane, he moved close to the plane. “Awwwww. Ha ha ha ha!” he laughed as he touched the plane.

This wasn’t just any plane. This was the B-29 Super Fortress. It was the biggest, fastest, mightiest, heavy bomber in the world.

This B-29 was named FiFi. It sits fully restored at the Cavenaugh Flight Museum in Addison.  Swoboda crawled into a familiar space inside.

“This is the first time I’ve done this in 65 years. As long as it took me to climb up in here, it’s obvious it took me 65 years!” Swoboda said.

Looking around, Swoboda said, “You develop an attachment for something like this. Then, it becomes sacred. Holy.”

He was a 21-year-old gunner when he was drafted. He already had a wife and child and another one on the way.

“It brings tears to my eyes, I guess. It’s just very great,” said Mason Fitch from Maryland.  Fitch was a 19-year-old radar operator during World War II.  “I love it. I love being here,” he said.

They were part of the 504th Bombardment Group who flew over Japan.  Their group flew 35 missions in all, never losing a plane.  They were glad to be here.

The WW II Veterans will ride inside the B-29 Saturday, something they all say they’re looking forward to.

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