World War II vets receive hero’s welcome courtesy of Honor Flight

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Eighty WWII veterans returned to San Diego on a chartered U.S. Airways flight Sunday after visiting their WWII Memorial.

The veterans were welcomed home by a reception of active duty military in uniform, along with friends and family.

The trip included stops at the famous battles of Iwo Jima, Guadalcanal, the Battle of Midway, D-Day, Okinawa and Battle of the Bulge.

Present on the trip were several Pearl Harbor survivors, and a participant in Special Mission 13, which dropped the first Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima.

One veteran was the personal photographer for General MacArthur.

Another was a crewmember of the USS Yorktown when it was sunk at the Battle of Midway. 

There were several flyers; one that flew P-51 Mustangs in the India-Burma-China campaigns; another that was the rear gunner on the SBD Dauntless Dive Bomber earning him 2 Distinguished Flying Crosses and 6 Air Medals.  

Another veteran fought at the Battle of the Bulge where he was captured on 12/16/44.   

Five female veterans made the trip and receive special recognition at the Women’s Memorial.

The trip left Friday morning, with Saturday spent traveling by motor coach to see the WWII Memorial followed by the changing of the guard at Arlington National Cemetery. They also toured the Korean, Iwo Jima, Vietnam, and Air Force Memorials, and the Navy Yard Museum. 

This was ‘Honor Flight’ San Diego’s fourteenth trip to the Memorials since 2010, taking a total of 830 veterans from Southern California.

Honor Flight San Diego is a non-profit organization created solely to honor America’s veterans for their service by flying them at no personal expense to see their Memorials.

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