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World War II B-17 Bomber – A Gas Station?; How to deal with government red tape.
Topic Started: May 11 2012, 06:43 AM (1,559 Views)
Copper
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World War II B-17 Bomber – A Gas Station?

Well somewhere SE of Portland, south of Milwaukie, Oregon on 99E you’ll find an amazing sight. Imagine gassing up under the wings of a B-17 World War II Bomber. Hmmm! Well, read all about it courtesy of www.RoadsideAmerica.com.

Gassing up under the wings of Victory! Bomber Gas has been a landmark in the Portland area since 1947, when it arrived and became the region's most unusual filling station. It stopped operating as a gas station in 1991, and has since been associated with the adjacent restaurant, where visitors could grab a bite and a souvenir Bomber place mat.

A serious restoration effort on the B-17G, aka "Lady Lacey" (after Art Lacey's British wife), has been underway at times. In 2012, the nose and cockpit had been removed.

Tipster Blair Shorney sent this account of how the plane ended up in Milwaukie:

Shortly after WWII a guy named Art Lacey went to Kansas to buy a surplus B-17. His idea was to fly it back to Oregon, jack it up in the air and make a gas station out of it. He paid $15,000for it. He asked which one was his and they said take whichever you want because there were miles of them. He didn't know how to fly a 4 engine airplane so he read the manual while he taxied around by himself. They said he couldn't take off alone so he put a mannequin in the co-pilot's seat and off he went.

He flew around a bit to get the feel of it and when he went to land he realized he needed a co-pilot to lower the landing gear. He crashed and totaled his plane and another on the ground. They wrote them both off as" wind damaged" and told him to pick out another. He talked a friend into being his co-pilot and off they went.

They flew to Palm Springs where Lacey wrote a hot check for gas then they headed for Oregon. They hit a snow storm and couldn't find their way so they went down below 1,000 feet and followed the railroad tracks. His partner sat in the nose section and would yell, "TUNNEL" when he saw one and Lacey would climb over the mountain.

They landed safely, he made good the hot check he wrote, and they started getting permits to move a B-17 on the state highway. The highway department repeatedly denied his permit and fought him tooth and nail for a long time so late one Saturday night he just moved it himself. He got a$10 ticket from the police for having too wide a load.

World War II Bomber Gas Station
Address: 13515 SE McLoughlin, Milwaukie, OR
Directions: SE of Portland, south of Milwaukie on 99E. From I-205, Milwaukie Exit- Hwy 224, go west to the end and turn south. Right on McLoughlin Blvd., in less than a mile plane is on right.

To all of you who are serving around the world and to those who have served...Thank you for your service!


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big al
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Bull-Carp
Great story!

Big Al
Location: Western PA

"jesu, der simcha fun der man's farlangen."
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Dan
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Cool story. I'll have to drive down there next time I'm in Portland.
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Copper
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I just checked the address on Google Earth. It looks like it is still there. Although some of the cockpit may be missing.
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Kincaid
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That's in my town. I never gassed up there and it no longer is a filling station, but I ate at the restaurant once (not memorable). Been to a few cars shows there and one plant sale.

The nose is gone all the way back to the wings. Off somewhere getting restored. Funds are tight for that as it is only enthusiasts and restaurant customers that donate. Years ago they had the tail off for restoration but that is back on now.

Portland is kind of cool in that we have that bomber, we have a submarine down at the river and somewhere safe they are keeping a restored WWII PT boat that I've only seen video of. Of course, 45 miles away is the Evergreen Air Museum that would take someone about six hours to tour the entire thing. I need to get out and see that but I'm always on the way to the beach or the way home when I pass by.
Edited by Kincaid, May 11 2012, 08:31 AM.
Kincaid - disgusted Republican Partisan since 2006.
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Kincaid
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BTW, I understand the bomber never saw action - it was completed too late in the war.
Kincaid - disgusted Republican Partisan since 2006.
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Mikhailoh
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........
America used to be just full of cool stuff like that. Then we got zoning. :lol2:

"Happiness equals reality minus expectations." - Tom Magliozzi

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Red Rice
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Cool story. Gotta love that can-do spirit... Americans must have felt invincible after WWII.

The B-17 is a truly beautiful airplane, but surprisingly small in person.
Norris, you fvck up. You fvck up real bad.
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Kincaid
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Agreed! It is very strange to see them next to an F-17 Tomcat for instance.
Kincaid - disgusted Republican Partisan since 2006.
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JBryan
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If it was a commercial airliner it couldn't carry very many passengers but it could probably drop off their baggage in the right location.
"Any man who would make an X rated movie should be forced to take his daughter to see it". - John Wayne

There is a line we cross when we go from "I will believe it when I see it" to "I will see it when I believe it".


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Copper
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Kincaid
May 11 2012, 08:31 AM

The nose is gone all the way back to the wings. Off somewhere getting restored. Funds are tight for that as it is only enthusiasts and restaurant customers that donate. Years ago they had the tail off for restoration but that is back on now.


Yes, you can clearly see it on Google Earth:

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=13515+SE+McLoughlin,+Milwaukie,+OR&hl=en&ll=45.425351,-122.63435&spn=0.001052,0.0012&sll=38.953626,-77.353806&sspn=0.026365,0.038409&hnear=13515+SE+McLoughlin+Blvd,+Milwaukie,+Oregon+97222&t=h&z=20
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