Restoring a piece of history for a hero - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Restoring a piece of history for a hero

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Aviation students from San Diego Miramar College are piecing together a historic plane for a special cause. 

Students from San Diego Miramar College are earning their wings by pounding and sanding an old P-51 Mustang.

"It’s for the love of it. These beautiful aircraft have a lot of soul," says Rolando Gutierrez. 

Rolando is the chief engineer at Flyboys Aeroworks. 

"This particular aircraft was flown by the Tuskegee Airmen during World War Two," says Rolando. 

Young hands are piecing together old parts that tell stories from the past. Daniel Smith, who graduated from San Diego Miramar College with a degree in aircraft maintenance, knows how to fit the jigsaw puzzle together. 

"Without this piece, I wouldn’t have been able to decipher the blue print and put this back together the way it goes," says Daniel. 

All of the work is performed with patriotism under flags of red, white and blue. 

"It’s amazing to be part of the history that got us to where we are today," says Eric Zugner. 

Eric says he often thinks about where America would be without these planes and the brave pilots who flew them.

"We would all be speaking German," Eric says. 

Once restored, the plane will be sent to the National World War Two museum in New Orleans and presented to Roscoe C. Brown, the legendary Tuskegee Airman. 

After 15,000 hours of work, the plane will be worth $2 million. Once restored, the Mustang will be trucked, not flown, to New Orleans.

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