Sunday, April 15, 2012

Flying Fortress and Louis Zamperini

On April 20-22, a B17 Flying Fortress called the Aluminum Overcast will visit the Torrance Airport--Zamperini Field.  You can actually go up in it--fly in it--for a little over $400. You have to make a reservation first though.

The plane will be at the Van Nuys Airport the following weekend, April 27-29.

Ground tours are also available for a much lower fee--like, $10. And veterans are free. Those tours take place between 2 and 5pm, and again, you should make a reservation. Call 800-359-6217 or go to the EEA website. (That's the cockpit at left)

That's not the only attraction at Zamperini Field next weekend. The biggest is that Louis Zamperini himself will be there.

If you've read Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, you know that Zamperini was born and raised in Torrance and is a local hero for very good reasons. He's in his 90s now but still comes to visit, and on the 21st he'll be talking to people from 1 to 3 pm. (I don't think it's a planned, sit-down-and-listen talk.)

Torrance is hosting Mr. Zamperini the following weekend for a more formal event, April 28 at 7 pm. That appearance is at the Toyota Automobile Museum (huh? I didn't know we had one of those !) at the Toyota USA headquarters on Van Ness. Details here.

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