School Closings And Delays

Wings of Freedom Tour Lands near Hazleton

HAZLE TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Some folks are getting a glimpse of history at an airport in Luzerne County.

World War II-era planes from the Wings of Freedom tour are arriving Monday at the Hazleton Area Regional Airport.

Organizers tell us three of the planes are bombers and two of the planes are fighters.

For various fees, families can get a close look and tour the planes. There are also opportunities to go for a ride in some of the aircraft.

"They're from the Collings Foundation based out of Stow, Massachusetts. They tour the country and do about 110 stops every year. Hazleton has been on that tour for the last 30 years, and this year, they are bringing a brand-new aircraft with them: a P40 Warhawk, the kind you saw with the shark nose, and there's been quite a lot of excitement about that," said tour coordinator Allan Dick.

The planes touched down Monday afternoon, bringing back memories for Korean War veteran and Purple Heart recipient Ed Pergosky of Hazleton.

"When I was a kid, they fascinated me, and I could tell the sound of them by their engines and all and I was always fascinated. Why I went in the Army instead of the Air Force, I'll never know, but the planes fascinate me very very much."

Others had different reasons for traveling from our region and beyond to see these planes up close.

"Just the technology, I've worked in machine shops most of my life and just to go and see the old types of machinery and how it was done in the old days compared to what it would be today, definitely fascinating to see it," Bud Madlinsky said.

"I like watching them in the sky and whenever we see a plane he's like 'Ooh, a plane!" Judith Freeman said.

Judith Freeman and her father Jeremy came from North Carolina. Judith's great-grandfather flew in planes like these.

"It's nice to kind of piece together history, like you knew someone who flew in a plane just like this," said Jeremy Freeman.  "She doesn't know her great-grandfather. He passed away before she was born, but that's a connection that she can try to remember."

"That's great to see them interested in something like this," said Ed Pergosky.

These planes flew in from Pittsburgh and will be on display until Wednesday when the tour moves on to its next stop in New Jersey.

For more information or to book a flight, click here.

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