“My Gal Sal” is leaving town. Sal is a World War II vintage B-17 bomber, which was housed in a hangar at Cincinnati’s Blue Ash Airport.
The plane’s owner wanted to make Blue Ash Airport a destination for those wanting to learn about WWII and honor the men who flew the planes. But now, as Local 12 News Reporter Jeff Hirsh shows us, My Gal Sal’s destination is changing.
They are shrink-wrapping a B-17 airplane so it can survive a 1000 mile trip to its new home in the National WWII Museum in New Orleans. And, if any airplane can survive that trip, it’s My Gal Sal, an aircraft which survived on the polar ice cap for more than half a century.
“My Gal Sal is a symbol.” A symbol of thousands of airplanes just like it and the thousands of young men who helped save the world, including those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
My Gal Sal crashed in Greenland in 1942 and was pulled from the ice in 1995 and acquired by Bob Ready, who, along with an Army Air Corps of Volunteers, began restoring the plane in 2000, putting it back together, and creating a museum to surround it. Ready was ready to spend hundreds of thousands of his own dollars at Blue Ash Airport for a new hangar for My Gal Sal, that hangar to be the centerpiece of a revived Blue Ash Airport.
But, between the city of Cincinnati and the city of Blue Ash, that’s not going to happen. Blue Ash Airport is going to close. My Gal Sal is going to move. Ready says, “This morning to see this off to the WWII museum is a great day for the country. It’s a very emotional day for me.”
Ready’s dream was to show off My Gal Sal to Blue Ash, to Cincinnati. Instead, the plane will be highlighted in a new $30 million building at the museum.
“As I said to the folks in New Orleans, I’m honored they asked for it to be donated to the museum, so I’m looking forward to that, but I certainly have emotions about losing it and leaving Blue Ash.” — Bob Ready
The Blue Ash Airport is now scheduled to close August 29. The city of Cincinnati, which owns the airport, wants out. So far, Blue Ash has not been not willing to buy the airport and keep it open.