Six Galesburg residents who served in the Armed Forces will fly in a 1942 biplane during the 47th National Stearman Fly-In.
The half-hour adventures will start at 9 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 7, 2018, at Galesburg Municipal Airport.
The Flights will be provided by the Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by Darryl Fisher in 2011 to honor U.S. military veterans who live in long-term care facilities. To date, the foundation has given approximately 2,000 Dream Flights to veterans across the country.
The Stearman was used by the Army Air Corps and the Navy as a primary trainer during the World War II era. It produced more military pilots than any other series of aircraft built.
Veterans who will take flights with Fisher include:
Gene Rude, 80, a resident of Seminary Estates, 550 E. Carl Sandburg Dr.
Rude served in the Air Force from 1956 to 1964, and was assigned to Ellsworth Air Force Base, SD; then to Morocco; next to Mitchel Field, Long Island, and finally to Anacostia Naval Station, Washington, DC, with the Armed Forces Police.
He served at the Kennedy funeral, during the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream Speech,” and as part of the funeral escort for Gen. Douglas MacArthur.
After his discharge from the Air Force, Rude joined the Illinois State Police in 1970 and served 30 years before retiring.
Dean Friichtenicht, 88, a resident of Seminary Estates, 550 E. Carl Sandburg Dr.
He served in the Army from 1951 to 1953. Assigned to the 45th Division in the Korean Conflict, he was wounded in front-line duty and is a recipient of the Purple Heart.
Ray Maddox, 87, a resident of Seminary Estates, 550 E. Carl Sandburg Dr.
A Navy veteran, Maddox served from 1951 to 1955 during the Korean Conflict with the submarine force. He was attached to a repair shop for periscopes, clocks and other instruments.
Manuel “Manny” Leon, 82, a resident of Hawthorne Inn, 2245 N. Seminary St.
Leon served in the Army from 1942 to 1946, and was a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne Division. He is a recipient of the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star and the Good Conduct Medal.
He served in England and at the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium. “I was there (at Bastonge) when … the Germans wanted us to surrender and when General McAuliffe said ‘Nuts’,” Leon says.
Ray Kreig, 95, a resident of Hawthorne Inn, 2245 N. Seminary St.
Kreig served in the Army from 1943 to 1946 in the Pacific Theatre. He took amphibious training in the Philippines, and went into Leyte on Oct. 20,1944.
He served under Gen. Douglas MacArthur.
Kreig’s brother, Albert, and his sisters, Virginia and Phyllis, also served during World War II.
Paul Haynes, 94, a resident of Hawthorne Inn, 2245 N. Seminary St.
Haynes was a seaman in the Navy during World War II, serving from 1945 to 1946.