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WV veteran gets bittersweet ride on B-17 bomber

Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register photo  The B-17 flies over Tunnel Ridge Mine’s Ohio River barge-loading facility.
Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register photo
The B-17 flies over Tunnel Ridge Mine’s Ohio River barge-loading facility.

WHEELING, W.Va. — From his seat aboard the “Sentimental Journey” Tuesday, Ed Jackfert had a bird’s eye view of the area he’s called home for nearly all of his 94 years.

For most who will have the opportunity to take a ride on what’s one of only 10 airworthy B-17 bombers remaining from World War II while it’s in town this week, the experience will be a once-in-a-lifetime thrill. But for Jackfert, it was an occasion to reflect on what he knows all too well the aircraft represents — and what he’s spent the last seven decades telling all who will listen.

“It’s something to remind them that war is nothing but death and destruction,” Jackfert, a Wellsburg resident who survived three years of confinement in a Japanese prison camp, said…

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