America’s World War II aviators found themselves at the very forefront of warfighting technology, and as such, they also found themselves facing challenges never before encountered by anyone in combat.
From night flying missions that had never been attempted, to massive aerial dogfights unlike anything to ever take place in the skies above us, these brave men, and the planes they piloted, remain the stuff of legend to this day. With the modern generation of advanced fighters designed to engage enemy aircraft from further and further away, gone are the days of steely eyed P-51 pilots buzzing through swarms of enemy aircraft, dogfighting while able, in some cases, to literally see the whites (or maybe the goggles over) their opponent’s eyes.
In this video segment, aired by ABC News, Bob Brocklehurst is such a WWII veteran pilot, and thanks to the Collings Foundation and a volunteer pilot in the front seat, he was able to once again take to the skies in the same model fighter he once flew in the skies above the Aleutian Islands in the Pacific Theater.
And, in keeping with the true grit and determination exhibited by Brocklehurst’s generation, he wasn’t just there for a ride – he was there to fly.