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Local WWII veterans receive honorary aviation experiences

This operation is the largest U.S. barnstorming event of its kind and aims to recognize and...
This operation is the largest U.S. barnstorming event of its kind and aims to recognize and honor brave individuals who defended our country during WWII.(Discovery Senior Living)
Published: Sep. 25, 2021 at 5:32 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Surviving World War II heroes from the local community took to the skies Sunday, September 19 as proud recipients of honorary, Dream Flights in restored WWII-era Stearman biplanes.

The flights, conducted by the non-profit organization Dream Flights, were part of Operation September Freedom.

This operation is the largest U.S. barnstorming event of its kind and aims to recognize and honor brave individuals who defended our country during WWII.

Operation September Freedom runs from August 1 to September 30. Dream Flights plans to fly nearly 1300 WWII veterans in cities and towns across the US in that 60-day period.

Among the very first participants were Bob Holland and Al Roecker, residents of TerraBella Windsor Lake.

Holland, age 100, served in the Navy, and Roecker, age 97, served in the Army.

Bob Holland
Bob Holland(Discovery Senior Living)
Al Roecker
Al Roecker(Discovery Senior Living)

The veterans were a few of several area veterans to enjoy honorary Dream Flights on Sunday, which commenced from Eagle Aviation at Jim Hamilton L.B. Owens Airport.

Of the 16 million Americans who served in WWII, only an estimated 100,000 remain living today. The youngest WWII veteran is listed at age 95 in 2021.

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