The Day of recognition was held on September 11th, an unbelievably sad day in our country’s history. Not only were the Southern Oregon Warbirds honored but First Responders in Douglas County as well. The day included:

-Dream Flights for twelve military Veterans in a 1943 Boeing Stearman.
-Hero recognition ceremony for Veterans and First Responders.
-Pancake breakfast for members of the Southern Oregon Warbirds.

Pacific Air Comfort was proud to partner with Ageless Aviation Dreams and sponsor this event. It was a day of smiles, joy and a few tears. Being able to honor local Veterans by helping provide them the opportunity to go up in a Stearman one more time was incredible. Many of these Veterans trained in a Stearman. Their affection for the plane was clear. The memories of their youth during an incredible time in our history that the flight inspired was very apparent, expressed through smiles and a spring in their step after they climbed out of the cockpit. The event was an incredible success and plans are underway to have it again next year. Pacific Air Comfort looks forward to participating.

Ageless Aviation Dreams, a non-profit honoring seniors and U.S. Military Veterans.

Ageless Aviation Dreams

The following is taken from agelessaviationdreams.org .

Ageless Aviation Dreams is a non-profit organization established and dedicated to seniors and the U.S. military Veterans living in long-term care communities that have always had a burning desire to soar like an eagle. For these “Golden” individuals we provide the opportunity to experience the thrill of an Ageless Aviation Dreams Dream Flight that includes riding in the cockpit of a Boeing Stearman, the airplane used to train many military aviators in the late thirties to early forties.

Today many of our former U.S. military pilots live in senior communities. We want to take them back to a place in time when they were invincible, ruling the sky as proud military aviators.

Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation is dedicated to every senior, living and deceased that helped build this great nation. Let their memory live on in every Dream Flight flown from this day forward.

The Stearman used on The Day of Recognition.

The Stearman

The Boeing Stearman was easy to fly and relatively forgiving of new pilots. It gained a reputation as a rugged airplane and good teacher. Officially named the Boeing Model 75, the new plane was (and still is) persistently known as the “Stearman” by many who flew them. It was called the “PT” by the Army, “N2S” by the Navy and “Kaydet” by Canadian forces. By whatever name, more than 10,000 were built by the end of 1945 and at least 1000 are still flying today, worldwide.

Warbird hat.

Southern Oregon Warbirds

The following is taken from southernoregonwarbirds.us .

The Southern Oregon Warbirds is a private fraternal organization composed of Veterans who participated in wars of our country in a military aviation related capacity. There are currently Veterans of WWII, Korean, Vietnam and Gulf wars. People who have never participated but have an interest in military aviation are also members of Southern Oregon Warbirds but in an associate capacity. All are from Roseburg and surrounding southern Oregon communities.

The Southern Oregon Warbirds that went for Dream Flights on the Day of Recognition were:
-Bill Markham, WWII
-George McDonnell, Korea
-Owen Dykema, Korea
-Jim Fourtner, WWII
-Leo Kraft, WWII
-Charles Martin, Korea
-George Insley, WWII
-Webster Griggs, WWII
-George McDonnell, Korea
-Donald Kitzman, WWII and Korea
-Tony Zarbano, WWII and Korea

The Veterans from WWII are dying at an ever increasing rate taking with them their stories of an incredible time in history. Getting to spend a few hours with these incredible men and getting to see the joy on their faces when they got back from their flights was something we will never forget.  Due to the success of this years event, plans are being made to do this again next year and Pacific Air Comfort is looking forward to being a part of it.    

If you would like to learn more about Ageless Aviation Dreams or the Southern Oregon Warbirds, please go to their websites, links above. To learn more about the gentlemen who flew, their biographies are available for reading on the Southern Oregon Warbird website. Their stories are remarkable and well worth reading. 

The Pac Air logo on the side of the Stearman. VERY cool!!

Tony Zarbano (WWII and Korea) ready to take off.

Tony Zarbano and his sons.

Roseburg Police Chief Jim Burge accepting a certificate of thanks from Darryl.

Representatives from Roseburg Fire, Douglas County Fire, Roseburg Police and Sheriff’s Office.

Everyone gathering for the ceremony.

Leo back on the ground.

Leo after his flight! His smile was incredible! Darryl allowed him to fly the plane for quite a while. Leo is a retired Marine who flew in the Pacific during WWII. SBD/B-25/SB2C Helldiver.

Darryl (Pilot), Bill and Bill (Darryl’s Dad) after Bill Markham’s flight.

Local radio personality Kyle Bailey getting strapped in.

The Stearman pulling up to the hangar.

Day of Recognition Banner.

The Southern Oregon Warbirds enjoying breakfast.

Tom Gogal Sr. and Paul Bodenhamer preparing breakfast for the Southern Oregon warbirds.

Veterans of Foreign Wars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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