Flying High in a B-17 Vintage Bomber Plane

with Holocaust survivor George Mueller

July 19, 2019

I had such an amazing experience yesterday with this B-17 Aluminum Overcast; this plane holds so much history. We were able to go all through this plane from the tail to the nose and everywhere in-between.

Not only did we get to go up in the vintage bomber, but we got to talk George Mueller, who was separated from his parents at 8 years old and, with his sister, boarded the “Kindertransport”, a rescue operation for children during the Holocaust.

George told us when he was locked up in concentration camps he would hear hundreds of B-17 planes fly over daily. He could tell you which direction they were flying and what German city they were going to bomb. He looked at them like “Angels from the Sky” and how the sound of this B-17 plane was music to his ears when he would hear it fly over. He knew something good was to come. He had always wanted the opportunity to fly in a B-17, and yesterday he and his daughter were able to do just that.

George spent most of his life not telling anyone his story, not even his family! His daughter recalls something “being a little off with dad but that was just dad.” It wasn’t until the 90’s that he felt he could talk about his experiences growing up. George now speaks openly about his experiences with one main goal: to tell people to accept one another for who they are and to love everybody for who they are.

When I first knew I was heading up in a B-17, I just thought it would be a cool thing to do: fly in a WW2 plane! But flying with George and hearing his story, I viewed it completely different. To think that this plane was what he would look forward to hear, to think that men sat in this plane for HOURS while being attacked to save others and to think that we ever lived in a time with such hate really hit me hard.

The biggest thing that I came away with from this entire experience was that we need to listen to people like George and we need to do a better job of being kind to others. We need to do a better job on accepting others for who they are. We need to do a better job on creating a safe space for all.

I didn’t expect to walk away from this experience the way I did, but I want to thank George for feeling like he now has a safe space to share his story and to continue to remind us we need to accept and love one another.

I also need to give the BIGGEST thank you to the EAA for allowing our vets, George, and I fly on this vintage plane. Also a huge thank you to George and his family for being so kind and sweet and willing to sit and chat. 

You can listen to the entire interview with George here.

Here's a photo of George and his daughter Jane before flying!