Jasper Air Show showcases rare aircraft

By Whitney Grunder - bio | email

JASPER, TX (KTRE)- Seeing the B-17 bomber once again, brings up many emotions for Bill Bowen, who flew it during World War II.

"Oh it's nice. I love it. I'd like to fly in it again," said Bill Bowen, who was a radio operator on the B-17 during World War II.

It's people like Bill, who make the fifth annual Jasper Air Show special.

"It's honoring those men and women who flew these planes in World War II," said Volunteer and Crew Chief on the B-17, Harry Lawrence.

"I've seen a lot of tears. A lot of tears from those old veterans," said Narrator for the event, Vandy Anderson.

Each plane tells a story.

Like the B-17 Thunderbird which flew 112 missions with no lives lost.

The vintage plane played a huge part in the allies' efforts.

They took a tremendous risk going up a lot of times without fighter protection, particularly in the beginning of the war. They carried about 6 to 8,000 pounds worth of bombs, a crew of ten, so every time one was shot down, that was ten lives lost," explained Anderson.

"There are twelve flying in the world. There's actually three flying in Texas," said Lawrence.

In addition to showcasing modern and vintage aircraft, special acrobatic performers will also take to the sky.

"Loops, rolls, spins. It's a lot of fun. It's about from take off to landing, a ten to twelve minute routine," said Paul Fiala, who performs aboard the "Great Lakes" acrobatic plane.

"Aerobatic flyers as well as a group of home built airplanes, there are five or six of those here today and they'll do some formation work," said Anderson.

The show highlights the history of aviation and the brave pioneers who paved the way for those who continue to fly high.

The show takes place at the Jasper County Bell Field Airport, and continues on Sunday at 1:00 pm. Admission is $10.00 for Adults 13 & Up, $5.00 ages 7-12, and 6 and under are free. To arrange for a flight of your own, costs range from 200-500 dollars. For more information and to make a reservation call 409-384-2626.

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