Serving Those Who Serve Serving Those Who Serve

Texas Raiders fly B-17s over Denver as part of commemoration

Serving Those Who Serve

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (KDVR) — The famous B-17 bomber is nicknamed the Flying Fortress, and people living near Centennial Airport were treated to a rare sight Friday when one of the few remaining from World War II flew for an event at the Exploration of Flight.

This story is not about a plane — even one as historic and recognizable as the B-17. It is about the men who flew it during WWII.

As the years go by, only the flying fortress will remain.

“We don’t realize what was done to build a society that we are in today, to give us the freedoms that we have,” said Keith Palmer, Exploration of Flight executive director.

As the B-17 group called the Texas Raiders soared over the Denver metro area, the memories soon will follow. But only for those who wish to remember — which in this case includes Guy Forti, whose father Gene flew 31 missions in a fortress over the angry skies of Europe.

“They started their missions and flew from January ‘44 to January ‘45,” Forti said.

The skies over Denver turned angry as well as a violent rainstorm swept over the Front Range. Just another storm the silent warrior must weather.

Gene Forti recently passed away, but he left his son with many memories.

“After dad passed away, I still have his legacy but I don’t have my dad,” Forti said.

Someday, all that will remain is the rubber, metal and canvas that is the B17. But that will never replace the blood, sweat and tears of the men who fought and died in it.

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