WWII bomber draws crowd to Cheektowaga

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) – “Diamond Lil,” the world’s oldest flying bomber, is drawing a crowd to Prior Aviation in Cheektowaga.

Some World War II veterans were at the site on Tuesday, which is where we met Silviu Dan. He was an aerial gunner on another B-24 during the War.

The North Tonawanda native enlisted when he was just 17-years-old and he has quite the story to tell. His plane was shot down by enemy forces during a mission over Austria.

“There was too much fire, I couldn’t get through. I turned around, opened up the hatch, I pointed to the other three gunners standing there, I said, ‘Go, go.’ I guess they were all afraid, I looked down and says, ‘Wow, the ground, I might miss it.’ Anyway, the fire came, and I went, and they followed me out. I landed on a German airfield, blew out my knee, and just laid there until the Germans came and got me. And ended up three months in a prison camp,” Dan recalled.

Tours of the the B-24 will run Wednesday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.

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