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Historic Aircraft Crashes In Illinois Field, Local Reporters Remember Ride

3_22_B17_WD__0003A historic World War II bomber that had recently been in Southern California made an emergency landing in an Illinois cornfield and burst into flame this morning.





The Liberty Belle, one of only eight – now seven – B-17 Flying Fortresses made in 1944 and put into service during the invasion of Normandy, was carrying a small group of observers. All seven people on board escaped the burning plane without serious injury.

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The airplane had been in Aurora as part of its Salute To Veterans Tour and to mark the 67th anniversary of D-Day. The plane is owned and maintained by The Liberty Foundation.

KHTS reporter Phil Long and photographer Will Davison were passengers on a media flight on Liberty Belle when it was at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank in March. For their story and pictures, click here.