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World War II Bomber receives historic honor

GRAND JUNCTION — For the first time in Colorado state history, a WWII TBM Torpedo Bomber has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Bomber resides at The Commemorative Air Force Rocky Mountain Wing in Grand Junction.

According to the group, this Bomber has quite an interesting background:

• It is the first and only aircraft ever to be listed by History Colorado! as a State Historic Property

• It is only the seventh aircraft to be listed on the National Register, and only the second plane on the Register that still flies regularly

• This iconic aircraft was the lead plane in a formation flyover at Queen Elizabeth’s coronation ceremony

• It appeared in the Steven Spielberg movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind

• It is one of 172 WWII-era planes restored, repaired, maintained, and operated by Commemorative Air Force Volunteers at 80 units around the US.

• It is the end result of an all-volunteer effort that started in Grand Junction in 1981

(Information provided by The Commemorative Air Force Rocky Mountain Wing)

A celebration will be held at The Commemorative Air Force Rocky Mountain Wing on April 14 to celebrate the honor.

An official plaque from History Colorado will be unveiled at the gathering. The public is welcome to join.