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WWII veteran reunited with plane he flew during war

Posted at 7:57 PM, Mar 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-16 22:57:09-04

"I think they've buffed that baby out!"

That was what Wencel Bohr said while looking at Sentimental Journey, the B-29 plane on display in hangar 4 at the Pima Air and Space Museum. 

Mr. Bohr would know better than most -- he flew 27 missions on that plane during World War II -- stationed as the left-gunner. The last mission he and his crew flew was one he'd never forget.

"We flew over the Missouri as MacArthur signed the peace treaty," Bohr said. "And I could see his shoes we were that low."

The B-29 aircraft was named Sentimental Journey, after the Doris Day song. This name was meant to inspire the crew of 11 men aboard the plane.

"The last line is, "sentimental journey home," he said. "And that stuck with everybody, because we're going over seas at the time, and everybody wanted to make certain -- give them the lift so we could get back home."

Bohr explained he and his crew had a very tight bond. While visiting the Pima Air and Space Museum where there are different photos of the crew, he recalled moments and memories from the time they spent together.

"They'd say something and somebody else could pick up on it," Bohr said. "We were always close to one another, and we've got three of us that are left."

Speaking about the B-29 plane, Bohr said it was a technological titan -- far more advanced than anything of its time. He believes it should be celebrated to this day.

"Today it's a symbol," he said. "For everybody that flew in the B-29's."

More than half a century later, he still smiles at the plane and the journeys it took him on. He's not from Tucson -- he actually drove from Minnesota to come and see the plane for the first time in years.

"I never have a bad feeling when I see this plane," Bohr said. "It's -- it's in me."

A sentimental journey, and a sentimental reunion for the 92 year old WWII veteran.