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Alden Smith, 94, is a resident at the Lutheran Home and Rehabilitation Center. A US Army Air Corps Veteran of 11 years, Mr. Smith spent most of his service during WWII as an Airplane Mechanic working primarily on B-24s, B-29s, and C-47s. Last week, the Collings Foundation brought their “Wings of Freedom” Tour to the Chautauqua County-Jamestown Airport with several WWII-era war planes on display. One of them, a B-24 Liberator named “Witchcraft”, was the same type of plane that Mr. Smith worked on during his service. In fact, of the 18,000 of them that were built, “Witchcraft” is the only combat configured B-24 in flying condition and only one of two still flying period.
Mr. Smith got to take a trip to the airport with Erin Carlson, Activities Director at LHRC, to see the planes in person once more. During his time at the airport, several visitors and staff came over to thank him for his service, listened to stories from his time working on the planes, and shared a lot of laughs together.
Earlier in 2019, Mr. Smith was interviewed by Greg Peterson of the Robert H. Jackson Center about his time in the service. The full interview can be viewed on YouTube: https://youtu.be/T2uf1–rqig