Helena

Aug 24, 2012 1:52 PM by Evan Weborg (evan@kxlh.com)

WWII pilot takes to the sky again in B-25 bomber

A B-25 bomber is calling Helena home for this week.

It's a first-time sighting for many Montanans, but it's a blast from the past for Ralph Wilcox, a World War II veteran and pilot of the B-25 bomber.

He recalls what time was like while up in the air, being shot at by the enemy: "The fragments go every direction and you can here them raining off of the skin of the air plane, some bounce off and some come in so you hope none find ya."

But now for the second time in 67 years later Ralph got back in the B-25, but not everything seemed the same.

Wilcox: "The plane seems to me a lot smaller than it was back in those days but to get into the cockpit and pilot seat is a struggle for me today. Back then it didn't seem like it was any problem at all."

One thing that remains true to Ralph is the good old roar of the engine: "We always called it the bucket of bolts because of the rattling sound of the motor. I can still when I hear a B-25 fly over I can identify it without looking just by the sound of that radial engine."

And for one more time the B-25 was back under the control of 2nd Lieutenant Ralph Wilcox, the 88 year old Montana veteran who had an experience like no other: "And then it topped it off, they allowed me to taxi it back in!"

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