More 70 years after the Douglas C-47B rolled off the assembly line in Oklahoma City and went to war with the RAF, this rugged old bird was called up out of retirement to aid victims of Hurricane Harvey. The bright polished aluminum of the Bluebonnet Belle has been a regular sight at air shows since it joined the Highland Lakes Squadron of the Commemorative Air Force in 1995, but with the overwhelming need to bring supplies to the beleaguered victims of Hurricane Harvey, this doughty WWII veteran once again became the workhorse she was built to be. With more relief supplies than they could deliver, the Georgetown Airport north of Austin called on the Highland Lakes Squadron for help. The Belle and her crew departed on Friday with 4,000 pounds of supplies and headed to Beaumont, then reloaded in Conroe and flew to Orange in East Texas. Its relief mission completed, the Bluebonnet Belle will return to her regular air show duties this weekend at the Bluebonnet Air Show in Burnet, Texas, but remains ready to serve should she be called upon again.

Photos by the author