Nearly 30 years ago, Tony Mazzolini found the B-29 Superfortress known as Doc wasting away in the Mojave Desert. He waded through the process of acquiring the plane from the government and began restoration efforts in 2000. Today, Doc is nearly airworthy. A group called Doc’s Friends launched a Kickstarter campaign at the beginning of October to get donations for the last phase in the long process. On October 22nd, the campaign met its goal with a week to spare.
As World War II fades into memory, so do the links to that time. Without a direct link to events in the past, we lose those strong connections that makes history real for those who didn’t live during those times. Thanks to groups like Doc’s Friends and the Collings Foundation, everyone has a chance to to see these warbirds up close, hear them fly overhead, look inside and even ride in them. Between these and the recording stories from veterans, the links can be maintained longer. People gain a deeper understanding of what they have been taught since elementary school.
It takes years for these planes to become airworthy and a significant amount of time and money to keep them that way. In spite of the costs, giving people an opportunity to see these pieces of history is well worth the effort. Congratulations to Doc’s Friends for working so hard to get a second B-29 flying again. We can’t wait to see it back in the air.