Veteran to be reunited with World War II aircraft

Collings Foundation flying B-24 into Cecil Airport

By Ashley Harding - Reporter, Erin Fisher - Producer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A World War II Army Corps veteran is being reunited with the last flying B-24 Liberator aircraft at Cecil Airport.

The Collings Foundation is flying the aircraft into Cecil Field between 1:30 and 2 p.m. Friday.

George Stallings Jr., 99, was a pilot and flight instructor for the military. He spent hours teaching young cadets how to fly using the aircraft. At one point, he was flying over 1,800 hours a year.

Stallings said it's been 75 years since he's flown a B-24, but adds that he "could fly one today without any problem."

As a flight instructor, Stallings trained both American and British cadets for the Royal Air Force -- flying that prized B-24.

"The British cadets, we had some strange stories. Some of them had never driven an automobile," he said. "But, when I got them in advanced training, they were pretty good pilots."

Stallings said the last time he saw a B-24 was about 25 years ago in Colorado.

Collings Foundation photo

B-24 Liberator

He said the  B-24 Liberator is large and stable to fly with its incredible horse power. It's amazing in action and just one of many reasons why it's a favorite for Stallings.

The purpose of the Collings Foundation is to organize and support "living history" events and the presentation of historical artifacts.

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