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Flying Fortress; Flying Miracle

If you've been before, you've seen Sally B before; it's highly unlikely you'll ever forget her.

For the last few years we've been attempting to choreograph the National Anthem of the United States of America (The Star Spangled Banner) with the arrival of the only B-17 Flying Fortress flying outside of the United States. When we get it right (we usually do) there's rarely a dry eye in the house as an American four engined bomber flies over an airbase built for American four engined bombers whilst the Star Spangled Banner is raised over a Memorial to 392 USAAF servicemen who made the ultimate sacrifice fighting for us in B-24 Liberators.

Tricky though it is to choreograph a singer with a 180 mph, 100'+wide 16 tonne icon, larger than almost all buildings, there's a bit of a clue as to the miracle of all this when we repeat; this is the ONLY B-17 Flying Fortress in the skies outside of the US (where there are only a handful). The miracle we're referring to goes by the name of Elly Sallingboe, who has operated and saved Sally B for over four decades. Elly is the only operator of a B-17 in history who isn't a Government or major charity. She's, in fact, a force of nature the like of which cannot be compared to anyone else in history. It's just as well she is; Sally B flies in honour of the 79,000 Allied airmen who died in WWII; she's the most vivid and acclaimed memorial imaginable and her post war story, thanks to Elly, is one for the ages.


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