Honor Flight set for Kentucky veterans
The (Owensboro, Ky.) Messenger-Inquirer
OWENSBORO, Ky. — Twenty-nine area veterans of World War II will get a big send-off from the Sportscenter at 1 p.m. Wednesday when they leave with the Honor Flight Network to visit the war memorials in Washington, D.C.
And they'll get an even bigger welcome home at Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport at 11 a.m. Friday when they return.
Sheriff Keith Cain, who accompanies the veterans on the Honor Flights, said this is the largest group sent from Owensboro so far. The veterans will be accompanied by 21 family members or guardians.
Cain said speakers will make a few remarks at the war memorial at the Sportscenter on Wednesday, and then the veterans will leave in a convoy to Louisville, where they will catch a flight to Washington.
They'll be lead out of town by a police escort and by Patriot Guard Riders on motorcycles, he said.
When the group returns Friday, Cain said, they will be taken to the main terminal at Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport.
Dr. Harold Cannon of Owensboro and the Tennessee Ridge Runner Flight Team will perform a "missing man" formation over the airport in World War II aircraft, Cain said.
"At the airport, the planes can get down to 500 feet," he said. "At the Sportscenter, they would have to stay up around 1,500 feet."
After the short air show, the veterans will be taken to the hangar at Watts Brothers Aviation at the airport where Cannon and his wife will host a luncheon for them, Cain said.
"We're hoping for a big turnout Wednesday and Friday to show support for our World War II veterans," he said.
Veterans from Hopkinsville and Bowling Green are joining the Owensboro veterans for the flight.
Among those going from Owensboro is Fred Ward, 87, who fought on Iwo Jima as a 19-year-old private on Feb. 19, 1945.
Honor Flight Network is a nonprofit organization created to honor America's military veterans for their sacrifices.
Priority is given to the oldest World War II survivors, along with those who may be terminally ill.