(Words and photos by Bob Chiluk) – So BangShift Chicago gets a hotline call wanting to know if we would like to see some old metal that’s being restored locally. Silence for a split nanosecond, we answer “when and where?”. We don’t ask what is it, where is it or what’s it all about. These are trivial questions and really wouldn’t matter to us to get the story anyway.
My informant gives me the coordinates to meet at and we head out on some back roads at the edge of town to meet some of his crew. While we wait for the rest of his gang he mentions “Oh by the way its a B-17.” My flytrap of trivial information recalls that there were some 10,000 plus of these WW2 work horses put into service doing the majority of the heavy lifting during the big one, but very few had to be still in existence (17 recorded). I’m thinking no way, this is a Goodfellas set up and if they ask me to ride in the front seat, I am in serious trouble!