VETERANS FLIGHT 
2022 Pensacola Beach Air Show

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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.

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

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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

Veterans Flight 2022

We Must Make It A Great Success

Since early October we have lost three World War II veterans who flew with Veterans Flight during the 2021 Pensacola Beach Blue Angels Air Show. Navy veterans Jim Crumlish and Tom Jones first flew with us in 2017. Both Jim and Tom flew in every Veterans Flight since 2017, so this was the fourth year for both of them. (Veterans Flight 2020 and the Pensacola Beach Blue Angels Air Show were cancelled due to COVID). Army B-17 ball turret gunner Joe Gossen first flew in 2019, so 2021 was his second year to fly.

Navy Veteran - Tom Jones

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Navy Veteran Tom Jones and his son, TJ with Stearman Pilot Nick Van Houten

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Navy Veteran Tom Jones in the front cockpit of

Nick Van Houton's Super Stearman

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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

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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.

Link to Tom Jones Obituary

The passing of these great Americans is a reminder we will have few remaining opportunities to honor and thank the World War II veterans whose sacrifices made it possible for us to live in this great country. Please make sure the dates of Veterans Flight and the 2022 Pensacola Beach Blue Angels Air Show (Friday 8 July and Saturday 9 July) are on your schedules.

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. 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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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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