Serving as a service station canopy in Milwaukie, Oregon for over 67 years, the WWII B-17G Flying Fortress now known as the “Lacey Lady” is undergoing complete restoration to airworthy condition at the Salem, Oregon airport (KSLE).
Opened in January 2015, Hangar “C” at historic McNary Field houses the B-17 Alliance Foundation museum and restoration facility where you can watch our volunteers work towards restoring our iconic aircraft piece by piece.
Established in 2006, the B-17 Alliance Foundation was created to restore the famous “Milwaukie Gas Station Bomber” and return the B-17G Flying Fortress to its original flying glory. The alliance mission quickly expanded to a three-part vision to Preserve, Educate and Inspire our community. This B-17G Flying Fortress will fly again to Honor the American Spirit of a Great Generation.
The B-17G Flying Fortress, Lacey Lady, was flown to Oregon in 1947 on a $5.00 bet by Art Lacey. Lacey flew the B-17G Flying Fortress from Altus, Oklahoma to Troutdale, Oregon to become the legendary “Milwaukie Gas Station Bomber” along the super highway in Milwaukie, Oregon.
The Lacey Lady is the most intact wartime B-17 Flying Fortress in the world under restoration today and holds the lowest amount of engine hours of any B-17 still in existence. The foundation really is an “Alliance,” working across the nation in collaboration with many partners to bring WWII aircraft back to the skies.
Fewer than 50 B-17 Flying Fortresses survive in the entire world today; all in different stages of repair, as war inventory was parted out and melted down decades ago. The Lacey Lady is one of the last fully intact bombers that can be restored. Others exist; however, they require using parts from multiple B-17 Flying Fortresses to build one complete bomber.
This “Incredible Journey” of the Lacey Lady is part of the B-17 Alliance Museum exhibits. Once a famous landmark, it became evident that this aircraft had a higher calling. The calling prompted “The Bomber family,” to preserve this rare piece of American history to educate all generations. The B-17G Flying Fortress known as the Lacey Lady, is now the future centerpiece of a growing destination point and WWII educational center located at McNary Field in Salem, Oregon.
Step back in history with our museum displays that capture the stories of our nation’s veterans, artifacts, uniforms, letters, equipment, and photographs of the men and women who have served our country during a watershed period in our nation’s history.
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Honor the American spirit that brought us to Victory in WWII.
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Together, we will return the Lacey Lady to the skies!