The B-17’s story is a remarkable one, filled with daring missions and personal sacrifice. More than just an airplane, the B-17 is a piece of living history that holds an unbreakable connection to the past. To many, the big bomber is among the most iconic images of World War II. These are stories of those who have or will come aboard EAA’s Aluminum Overcast.
EAA’s B-17 Aluminum Overcast hosted a special passenger at its May 11 tour stop in Olympia, Washington. Ninety-two-year-old Betty Lausch contributed on the home front during World War II, helping to construct thousands of B-17 tails on a Boeing assembly line while her husband flew as a tail gunner on the very same airplanes in the 15th Air Force over Italy. In even a stranger twist of fate, the day of her flight on Aluminum Overcast was the first time she had ever seen a B-17 fully assembled. Numerous people asked for photos and autographs from the real-life Rosie the Riveter, and Betty said by the end of the day she felt like royalty. Though her husband made it home from the war, he passed away a few years ago, and Betty said flying in EAA’s Aluminum Overcast helped bring her life full circle.