Episode Two: "Preston's Pride", The People's Plane
In 1946, the United States government conducted two tests on the Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands, called “Operation Crossroads.” B-17G 105-VE 44-85738 was used as the mother ship that led 12 drone B-17s thru the fallout cloud to collect information for further study. In 1958, General Maurice Preston flew the B-17 to his hometown of Tulare, CA. Here, the town affectionately dubbed the plane “Preston’s Pride”.
Episode One: The Legacy of "Starduster"
"Starduster" is a WWII combat veteran with 10 months of flying over Nazi occupied Europe. After the war "Starduster" was transferred 12 times in as many years. In 1956 "Starduster" was sold to the Bolivian Government as a transport plane. A landing gear failure cause a rebuild with another B-17 and became a cargo place, where she transported beef carcasses over the Andes and had a cargo door built into the side where the waist gunners position is located.
"Thank you for your continued support of the B-17 Archaeology preservation and documentary efforts. Your membership helps make it all possible!"Greg Stathatos