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World War II Stearman instructor Norman Cockman and pilot Roy Kinsey before the first Veterans Flight in November 2010.

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Veterans, pilots, family members, volunteers and supporters gather at Pensacola Aviation Center before the flights.

VETERANS FLIGHT 
2021 Pensacola Beach Air Show

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Art Leach (Navy F6F Pilot), Helene Ellis, Howard Levinson (Army B-24 Pilot), Dan Peterson (TBM 700C Pilot)

At Pensacola Aviation Center with Veterans Flight Founder Roy Kinsey

After Action Report #1 – 16 July 2021

Only 357 days until Friday, 8 July 2022’s first flights

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Pearl Harbor Survivors Frank Emond, USN, and Bill Braddock, USMC, before Veterans Flight 2018.

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Veterans Flight pilots John Laughter (515), Carey Hardin (470), Vic Syracuse (719) and Sam Hardin (469) over Pensacola Beach during Veterans Flight 2018

Veterans Flight 2021 - A Great Success

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World War II veterans Jerry Yellin (Army Air Corps), Cass Phillips (Navy) and Jay Carraway (Navy) during Veterans Flight 2016.

Beginning Thursday afternoon and continuing through Saturday morning, more than 30 flights with veterans were flown over three days. These veterans included 101 years old Navy F6F pilot Art Leach from O’Dell, Illinois, and 98 years old Army B-24 pilot Howard Levinson from Glen­view, Illinois who were able to fly with us thanks to the generosity of Dan Peterson who flew them to Pensacola in his beautiful TBM-700C turboprop.

 

Although Art’s flight qualified him for Veterans Flight’s Lima Bravo recognition, 103 years old Pearl Harbor Survivor Frank Emond had the honor of being the senior veteran to fly this year.

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Frank Emond after his Lima Bravo qualifying flight with Carey Hardin during Veterans Flight 2018

Every passing year means there are fewer living World War II veterans to honor and thank, but the support Veterans Flight receives made it possible for us to bring more out of state veterans to the 2021 Pensacola Beach Air Show. This year veterans from as far away as Virginia, Illinois, and Alaska traveled to Pensaco­la to fly and we hope to increase that in the future. Please plan to join us next year on July 8 & 9 for Veterans Flight – 2022 Pensacola Beach Blue Angels Air Show.

In addition to the 11 Stearman primary trainers that came to Pensacola for Veterans Flight, the Stearmans were joined by 2 SNJ/T-6 advanced trainers and a T-34. This gave us an opportunity to fly veterans in the first two military airplanes they flew during World War II. (For some World War II aviators, a Stearman was the first airplane in which they had ever flown). 

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Stearmans on the flight line waiting patiently for the first flight of veterans.

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Veterans Flight pilot Phil Webb (AAC #42) leads the Stearmans out for takeoff on runway 35 at Pensacola International Airport.

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T-6 Pilot Phillip Grice On The Wing Of Dave Robinson's SNJ As The Advanced Trainers Roll In On Pensacola Beach Saturday Morning. Navy Hellcat Pilot Art Leach is in the aft cockpit of the T-6 and Dan Peterson is in the aft cockpit of the SNJ. Photo was taken by Jeff Rease from Tony Diez's T-34.

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If you know World War II aviators, email their contact information to

veteransflight@cox.net

so we can invite them to fly with us next July

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