In honor of World War Ii veterans and their families, a group of volunteers has been flying a B-17 bomber across the US. Dubbed the ''Salute to Veterans tour', the initiative has evoked fond war-era memories for the veterans and their families.

On Sunday, the flying Museum or 'Madras Maiden', touched down in Columbia where veterans, their families, and visitors were given a 30-minute guided tour of the B-17.

Speaking to Fox News, World War II veteran William Pate, had a lot of praise for the volunteers and the initiative. Pate was a part of the war action between 1944 and 1947 and was in the 82nd Airborne paratroopers.

War stories

During the tour, veterans exchanged War Stories, while family members got a first-hand feel of what their loved ones, some deceased, went through during the war.

Rodney Schneider who is an aircraft maintainer said he felt honored to hear the war stories passed on to another generation while the memories of family members were kept alive.

Schneider has been an ardent fan of airplanes dating back to his childhood, and when he heard about the event, he did not hesitate to reach out to the organizers, Liberty Foundation, to be a part of the action.

A co-pilot for the bomber, Robert Maiden who is 21, told Fox News that he had been flying to different cities every weekend for the past 6 months, aboard the B-17.

Fond memories

For Erin Creed, traveling from Virginia to Columbia in the company of her father and husband was to honor her grandfather, now deceased, who fought Nazi Germany during the war. She carried his favorite World War II cap and his picture and was amazed by the experience.

The B-17 that the Liberty Foundation flies was built towards the end of the war, but did not see combat.

The foundation started flying it in 2016 and has so far spent over a million dollars in its upkeep and maintenance.

The money generated from ticket sales and donations from well-wishers goes directly to the planes upkeep. Schneider pointed out that if the funding dries up, the B-17 will be taken to a museum and stored there.

The crew that is flying the B-17 on the tour varies in age, from the young to World War II veterans, and they have been brought together, by the love of flying.

B-17 bomber

Boeing's B-17 bombers were made for the US military in the 1930's and have a four-engine capacity. Fondly referred to as the 'Flying Fortress', the bombers were improved over time to meet the ever-changing demands of the war field.

The B-17 was responsible many successful bombing missions during the war, and the aircraft was capable of flying for up to 11 hours non-stop.

The next stop for the 'Salute to Veterans tour', will Kentucky and Tennessee.