DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

Life & Times

February 27, 2014

WWII pilot to speak next month

LONDONDERRY — The Aviation Museum of New Hampshire will host Col. Robert Fortnam as guest speaker at the upcoming Second Saturday at the Museum on March 8 at 11 a.m.

Fortnam was flying his B-17 when he was shot down by enemy fire. He managed to crash-land his airplane with a full complement of bombs aboard without detonating any of them. He and his crew were all able to get out of the crippled airplane and did what they could to evade the enemy as they attempted to find their way back to England.

Fortnam was captured by the Germans and transported to a camp for prisoners of war, where he would spend the next 16 months as a POW.

In the spring of 1945, the camp where Fortnam was being held was liberated by elements of the U.S. Army. A strange coincidence was that the young soldier in the American tank that first broke through the compound’s fence was his younger brother. Neither would know this until they eventually got home and compared notes.

The program begins at 11 a.m. on March 8 at the museum. Seating is limited and included in the price of museum admission and free to NHAHS members.

The Aviation Museum of NH is located at 27 Navigator Road in Londonderry. For directions, go to nhahs.org.

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