B-17 Madras Maiden to offer flights in Kansas City - KCTV5

B-17 Madras Maiden to offer flights in Kansas City

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The Boeing B-17 “Madras Maiden” is at the downtown airport in part of the Liberty Foundation's 2017 Salute to Veterans tour. (KCTV5) The Boeing B-17 “Madras Maiden” is at the downtown airport in part of the Liberty Foundation's 2017 Salute to Veterans tour. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

A rare piece of World War II history is in Kansas City right now.

The Boeing B-17 “Madras Maiden” is at the downtown airport in part of the Liberty Foundation's 2017 Salute to Veterans tour.

Come this weekend, you can have the chance to check it out as well. The only thing more remarkable than the size and power of this thing is the story of a man who flew on it.

"That’s a piece of gold for this country," longtime Kansas City resident Roy Shenkel said.

During WWII, the plane took beatings. Shenkel was inside as a waist gunner for one of them.

He was shot at going over Yugoslavia on his fourth mission and he had to deploy

"When I bailed out, I passed out. Soon as I cleared the door, I passed out from lack of oxygen," he said.

This is the first time the soon to be 94-year-old has seen the plane up close since that day – April 6, 1944.

After jumping out the door, Shenkel was taken prisoner by the Germans for 13 months.

"I didn’t have a toothbrush or toothpaste for a year ... didn’t know what a shower was," Shenkel said.

He says back then, he would have never thought he'd be alive today, let alone stand next to the plane. He’s thankful the Liberty Foundation has preserved it.

The Liberty Foundation says it is all about remembering and honoring vets like Shenkel and the sacrifices they made.

"Freedom isn’t free, never was and never will be. If you want your freedom, you’ll have to fight for it," Shenkel said. 

You too can tour and take a flight if you'd like. The money raised helps the Liberty Foundation continue to take the historic planes around the country to educate the public. Click here for more information.

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