In my book, LIFE, AMERICA and the ROAD A Biker’s Perspective, one chapter is called Lessons From Bert. Bert was my father and in that chapter, I described the experience of taking off in the huge B-29 bombers he flew off Pacific islands during WWII. Those big new engines tended to overheat while trying to lift the plane off the runway with a full 20,000 pound load of bombs. I won’t spoil the story for you, but on a recent ride up toward San Bernardino, a group of us stopped at the March AFB museum which has one of the few B-29’s still preserved from WWII. It was fun looking up into those bomb bay doors, at the large piston driven engines with their unique four-bladed props and imagining Bert sitting under that glass canopy in the pilot’s seat.
A few B-29’s flew as late as the Korean War, but they all went obsolete soon after as they were too slow and could not protect themselves from newly produced jet fighters, many of which are on display at that same museum. Fun place to visit if you are riding on the I-215 north of Temecula and south of Riverside. The museum is right off the freeway on the east side.