The Yorkton Municipal Airport hosted an event this weekend to provide visitors the opportunity to learn the history of their local airport, as well as a chance to see several vintage planes on display.
One of the highlights of the weekend event was the display and demonstration of the B17 bomber plane.
The aircrafts co-pilot Fred DeWitt said he's proud to be a part of the all-volunteer, non-profit Commemorative Air Force that tours the flying museum all over Canada and the US.
"Most of the public doesn't realize this bomber was operated by 18 or 19 year old guys, plugged into oxygen at 30,000 feet and fighting a war at the same time. We can show people a part of history and keep the memory alive of veterans," says DeWitt.
Visitors were given the opportunity to purchase a ride on the B17 bomber if they were so inclined or, for a lesser fee, a loop over the city on a Cessna aircraft offered by Leading Edge Aviation. According to organizers nine B17 flights took 72 passengers for a ride of a lifetime, while more than 2000 people toured through the vintage aircraft.
According to the City of Yorkton archives, it was "in August of 1940 the announcement came that Yorkton would be home to a Royal Canadian Air Force training school… students came from all over Canada and the Commonwealth to perfect their flying skills and by the end of the war in 1945, an estimated 2,000 pilots had earned their wings at the Yorkton school."
Veterans, along with guests enjoyed live music and entertainment. Ninety three year-old WWII veteran Barry Needham of Wynyard talked about training at the base in the 1940’s.