Historic B-29 Superfortress ‘Doc’ lands at Texarkana Regional for public display
TEXARKANA, Ark. (KSLA) - A piece of history flew through the skies over Texarkana Wednesday afternoon.
On May 17, the B-29 Doc bomber flew to the Texarkana Regional Airport. Built in 1944, “Doc” is one of only two B-29 fortress aircraft still flying today.
“The United States built just under 4,000 of them. To have one that we can fly around the country is really special,” said Josh Wells with Doc’s Friends.
Wells says this aircraft was in service until 1956 and became a bombing target for the United States military. After 40 years, B-29 Doc was restored.
Doc is a B-29 Superfortress and one of 1,644 manufactured in Wichita during World War II. Doc was found in 1987 sitting and rotting away in the Mojave Desert. Since then, the historic warbird has been restored to flying status, serving as a flying museum.
Over the past 15+ years, hundreds of volunteers have worked on Doc and the restoration project. Skilled workers and retirees from Wichita’s aviation industry, veterans, active duty military and others wanting to honor those who served, have spent tens of thousands of hours on Doc’s restoration. Countless individuals and organizations also made financial and in-kind contributions to keep the project going.
“It took 16 years, 415,000 volunteer hours to put the airplane back together. We roared back to flight in 2016 thanks to our heroes our volunteers,” Wells said.
“Six people in this area, four more in the back. They were all gunners,” said Mark Novack, one of just nine pilots qualified to fly a B-29 Superfortress. “I’m honored because there are only nine guys who can fly left seat in the airplane. Like our mantra is we want to honor the men who flew them and the women who built them.”
B-29 Doc will be on display for the public at the Texarkana Regional Airport through Sunday, May 21. Paid flights will be available if weather permits.
“It’s an opportunity for people to get up and personal with a piece of history and really get a hands-on look at the greatest generation and what they did to protect our freedom,” Wells said.
Click here to learn more about Doc’s storied history.
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