Charlie Brown’s B-17 “YE OLD PUB”

The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) with local Charlotte EAA Chapter 309 is bringing their B-17 Flying Fortress "Aluminum Overcast" to the Concord Regional Airport as part of their 2010 “Salute to Veterans” tour and in celebration of the 75 Year Anniversary of this special aircraft. The media flight is Thursday, October 21 at 1 pm and the plane will arrive at 12 Noon. Visit the EAA B-17 site at for more information.

This aircraft is an example of the American heavy bomber that helped turn the tide of battle in World War II. The Tour Stop will be at the Concord Regional Airport October 22 - 24, 2010. The Concord Regional Airport will also host an OPEN HOUSE AND FLY-IN for the community over the weekend October 23rd - 24th featuring the EAA B-17 Tour Stop, static displays of general aviation, military, Antique, Classic Warbird aircraft as well as NASCAR / Nationwide/ Legends cars, food, community information, vendors, raffles, a Sunday afternoon helicopter golf ball drop, and lots more. All proceeds to benefit Rotary Polio Plus Program.

The Northwest Cabarrus Rotary is sponsoring the golf ball drop. Tickets are available at the Open House or in advance at the Airport FBO Customer Service Counter at $10.00 each or 3 for $25.00 with $1.000.00 going to the winner.

Visit for the airport Open House event flyer and hours or directions.

Concord Regional Airport (JQF) is offering offering a FLY-IN FUEL DISCOUNT SPECIAL of $0.25 /Gal!

Fly a B-17 Mission back in time and feel the might of this magnificent aircraft, just as those brave young men did more than 65 years ago. CLICK to visit the B-17 Multimedia Center.

Morning Flight Information -  Flight Times 10:15AM - 1:15PM

     Book your flight in advance for a special discount.

     Phone: 1-800-359-6217


     EAA B-17 Site for all Pricing and Reservations:

     Local contact: 704-231-4867 or

     Local website:

Afternoon Ground Tours are offered from 2:00 – 5:00 PM Daily. Cost is $5.00 per Person or $15.00 per Family (adults/children up to 17-immediate family members). Children under eight are free when accompanied by paying adult. All Active Military personnel and Veterans receive a free ground tour


B-17 FACEBOOK           Fate of the B-17 "Satan's Lady"

CHARLOTTE OBSERVER                 “The Last Flight”

B-17 Tour Stop “The Aluminum Overcast”
October  22 - 24, 2010
Concord Regional Airport (JQF)
B-17 “Salute to Veterans” Program
Concord Regional Airport Hangar Bar-B-Que Dinner
October  23, 2010 at Airport Hangar “F”

This video - is all about the Veterans and our tour stop is named “Salute to Veterans” for that very reason.  As a 70 year old veteran myself (Vietnam) and regular army officer, and after living my early years during WWll, I can never thank the WWll Greatest Generation of Veterans enough for what they did.  During the first B-17 Tour Stop that I worked I saw a lady pushing her father in a wheel chair up to the B-17 during his free Ground Tour.  She told me in just a few words that her father was a B-17 crew member.  What really spoke to me was that he did not ask to board but just sat there quiet with tears flooding down his face and dripping off his chin.  I shook his hand and thanked him for his service but he could not answer - he just stared at the B-17 obviously with memories streaming thru his mind.  I asked his daughter if he had tickets to our "Salute to Veterans" Saturday Night Bar-B-Que and she said that she knew nothing about it.  I gave her two tickets and they attended our program.  I took this picture of her father as he listened to Major General Sadler talk about his experiences during the war in a B-17.  I will never forget this WWll Veteran even though I never got his name. The Ground Tours are free to all Veterans and Active Duty Military.

Just as important is the fact that the Greatest Generation's sacrifice must never be forgotten. The B-17 is a living museum and our younger generations can have the opportunity to touch it, smell it, and hear it.  Hopefully they will gain an appreciation of what happened just 65 years ago.  With that in mind please watch the video below. 

I Fought for You - as did every veteran that you know!

Look carefully at the B-17 and note how shot up it is - one engine dead, tail, horizontal stabilizer and nose shot up.. It was ready to fall out of the sky. (This is a painting done by an artist from the description of both pilots many years later.) Then realize that there is a German ME-109 fighter flying next to it. Now read the story below. I think you'll be surprised.....

Charlie Brown was a B-17 Flying Fortress pilot with the 379th Bomber Group at   Kimbolton , England . His B-17 was called 'Ye Old Pub' and was in a terrible state, having been hit by flak and fighters. The compass was damaged and they were flying deeper over enemy territory instead of heading home to Kimbolton.   
After flying the B-17 over an enemy airfield, a German pilot named Franz Steigler was ordered to take off and shoot down the B-17. When he got near the B-17, he could not believe his eyes. In his words, he 'had never seen a plane in such a bad state'. The tail and rear section was severely damaged, and the tail gunner wounded. The top gunner was all over the top of the fuselage.  The nose was smashed and there were holes everywhere.   
Despite having ammunition, Franz flew to the side of the B-17 and looked at Charlie Brown, the pilot. Brown was scared and struggling to control his damaged and blood-stained plane. 
     BF-109 pilot Franz Stigler               B-17 pilot Charlie Brown. 
Aware that they had no idea where they were going, Franz waved at Charlie to turn 180 degrees. Franz escorted and guided the stricken plane to, and slightly over, the North Sea towards   England .. He then saluted Charlie Brown and turned away, back to   Europe .  When Franz landed he told the CO that the plane had been shot down over the sea, and never told the truth to anybody. Charlie Brown and the remains of his crew told all at their briefing, but were ordered never to talk about it.   
More than 40 years later, Charlie Brown wanted to find the Luftwaffe pilot who saved the crew. After years of research, Franz was found. He had never talked about the incident, not even at post-war reunions. 
They met in the   USA  at a 379th Bomber Group reunion, together with 25 people who are alive now - all because Franz never fired his guns that day. 
(L-R) German Ace Franz Stigler, artist Ernie Boyett, and B-17 pilot Charlie Brown.

When asked why he didn't shoot them down, Stigler later said, I didn't have the heart to finish those brave men.  I flew beside them for a long time.  They were trying desperately to get home and I was going to let them do that.  I could not have shot at them.  It would have been the same as shooting at a man in a parachute. 
Both men died in 2008. 

Research shows that Charlie Brown lived in Seattle and Franz Steigler had moved to Vancouver, BC after the war. When they finally met, they discovered they had lived less than 200 miles apart for the past 50 years!

This is a true story 




Tuskegee Airman - WWII Heros


The EAA B-17 Tour Stop “Salute to Veterans Program” Hangar Bar-B-Que Dinner will be held during the Concord Regional Airport OPEN HOUSE on Saturday, October 23rd, 5PM to 7PM, at the airport’s Hangar F.  It will feature WWll B-17 Pilot CPT Charles Barrier, WWll Pilots and Veterans, WWll Swing Dancers, and the EAA B-17 Crew Members. Open to the public the cost for Dinner is $12.00 per person.  ADVANCE TICKETS AVAILABLE AT THE AIRPORT.  Tickets will be available at the B-17 Merchandise Trailer during the OPEN HOUSE event.  Bring your family and say “Thank You to our Greatest Generation Veterans!” Call 704-231-4867 for Information.   Click for PRINTABLE  POSTER

Concord resident WWll B-17 Pilot CPT Charles E. Barrier tells us about his 30 Missions flown over Nazi Germany.

BELOW - Great interview of CPT Barrier after his Media Day B-17 Flight

A beautiful signed print of CPT Barrier’s B-17 “Remember Me?” will be presented to the lucky ticket winner at the end of the Dinner Event.   Signed prints will be on sale at the EAA B-17 Merchandise Trailer at the Concord Airport Open House event.  CLICK PICTURE FOR DETAILS

Their outstanding success during World War II – not losing a single bomber to enemy fire in more than 200 combat missions – is a record unmatched by any other fighter group!

Also featured at the Airport OPEN HOUSE and the “Salute to Veterans Program” will be the Manpower to Horsepower unique program founded by Sue Roberson and SMP Motorsports to give back to disabled veterans. The program provides a ride-along program that is handicap accessible to those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injuries (TBI). The program utilizes custom-made late model cars which allow a handicapped passenger the opportunity to ride shotgun around dirt tracks. The goal for 2010 is to provide this experience at 48 events throughout North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.

WWll Veteran 1LT Bill Smith, P-47 Fighter Pilot,

exits the B-17 after his ride on a Media Flight

     CPT Charles Barrier

October 21, 1931 - November 18, 2012



This video is about Tuskegee Airman John Leahr and his good friend WWII B-17 Commander Herb Heilbrun who grew up in the same neighborhood and were in the same third grade class together. They were classmates—not friends—because Herb was white and John was black. John and Herb were twenty-one when the United States entered WWII. Herb became an Army Air Forces B-17 bomber pilot. John flew P-51 fighter escort missions for the B-17. Both were thrown into the brutal high-altitude daylight bomber war against Nazi Germany, though they never met because the army was rigidly segregated—only in the air were black and white American fliers allowed to mix. Both came safely home but it took Herb and John another fifty years to meet again and discover that their lives had run almost side by side through war and peace. Herb and John launched a mission to tell young people why race once made all the difference and why it shouldn't anymore.