A Sally B Partnership: Supporting the B-17 Flying In Europe


2013-07-12 by Robbin Laird

During our recent opportunity to see and participate in the French ceremony honoring a B-17 crew which crashed in France on July 4, 1943, the SallyB made its entrance onto the air stage to close the event.

It was truly a magnificant moment.

Later at the dinner closing the weekend of celebration, I had a chance to talk with some of the crew members of that B-17. I learned that the high cost of keeping the plane operational and the voluntary nature of the support for the aircraft had put the plane at risk for continuing to fly.  Unlike in the United States, in Europe one is not permitted to fly passengers on such an historic plane to support operations.

What is needed are individual or corporate contributions.

One can do so by going directly to this link:


We have forged a partnership between Second Line of Defense and the Sally B Preservation effort to try to assist in any way to raise funds for this worthy effort.

Particularly in a time of sequestration where the USAF is unlikely to show up to events which in the past in which would participate, it is important for individual Americans or corporate sponsors to provide support for the Sally B.

To get a sense of what you would be supporting please see the latest bulletin outline the activities of the plane and its crew:


To give you a sense of the efforts being undertaken by the B-17 team:

Our first display was the all-American 70th Anniversary themed air show at Duxford on 26th May. The 70th Anniversary of the 78th Fighter Group arriving at Duxford was celebrated in real style, highlighted by the first ever

Dear Friends display by “The Eagle Squadron”. This historic four-ship display comprises a Mark I Spitfire, Hawker Hurricane, P-47 Razorback Thunderbolt and P-51 Mustang “Princess Elizabeth”. As the fighters took off and flew their missing man formation, Sally B remained on the ground, purring at the end of the runway with engines slowly turning: a great tribute. But for us –and surely also for you, her members – the highlight was most certainly when Sally B flew in formation with The Eagle Squadron, two of their aircraft flanked on either side of our B-17.