AUDIO: B-25 crew’s emotional tribute to B-17 victims before leaving Bradley


FILE – In this April 2, 2002, file photo, the Nine-O-Nine, a Collings Foundation B-17 Flying Fortress, flies over Thomasville, Ala., during its journey from Decatur, Ala., to Mobile, Ala. A B-17 vintage World War II-era bomber plane crashed Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019, just outside New England’s second-busiest airport, and a fire-and-rescue operation was underway, official said. Airport officials said the plane was associated with the Collings Foundation, an educational group that brought its “Wings of Freedom” vintage aircraft display to Bradley International Airport this week. (John David Mercer/Press-Register via AP, File)

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (WWLP) – The last of the Collings Foundation vintage World War II aircraft have departed Bradley International Airport. Before takeoff, the B-25 crew requested permission from the air traffic control tower to take an extra minute on the runway before taking off.

In that minute, the crew made an emotional tribute to those involved in the deadly B-17 crash. Listen to the full audio below:

B-25: Hey, uh, tower B-25 any chance to take a second to say something?

Tower: Go head.

B-25: This is difficult, but bear with us… I think for everybody here, our crew, and the entire Collings Foundation, we’re very appreciative and deeply sorrow for everything. To all of you here at the airport, the people of Connecticut, and especially those families that were involved in this tragedy this week. On a personal note, and I guess it’s even more difficult, because we never do it, but uh…we got to leave behind two of our friends Mac and Mike and our brothers and fellow crew. Also a salute to our good ol’ friend, the 909.

[inaudible] B-25s ready for departure.

Tower: Thank you very much, I’ll pass the word along. Runway 6 cleared for takeoff.

B-25: Clear to go, Runway 6, 3476G. Thank you guys.

Tower: Safe journeys, guys.

Related: Firefighters reflect on their experience responding to B-17 plane crash at Bradley

Related: Officials release names of those involved in B-17 plane crash at Bradley Airport

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