Greetings from The Aero Experience Team


The Aero Experience is a celebration of Midwest aviation and aerospace achievement. We invite you to join us as we explore the treasures of Midwest aviation through first-hand experiences. Our contributors take turns flying lead, and we are always looking for new destinations. Check in with The Aero Experience frequently to see where we will land today, and then go out and have your own aero experiences!

Blue skies,

Carmelo Turdo, Mark Nankivil and Fred Harl - The Aero Experience Team

Friday, June 29, 2012

Missouri Aviation Historical Society Meeting Features Greater St. Louis Honor Flight

By Carmelo Turdo
This month's meeting of the Missouri Aviation Hostorical Society hosted representatives of the Greater St. Louis Honor Flight (GSLHF), whose mission is to safely transport World War II veterans to see their National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. This mission takes on urgency since veterans of this era are pasing away at a rapid rate – more than 900 a day nationally. 

Mr. Robert Graves, Flight Leader, and Mrs. Dayna Bischoff from the Daughters of the American Revolution discussed the need to support this worthy endeavor.  Mr. Bob Rockford, a veteran from a recent Honor Flight, described his experiences to the group.  Since its inception in 2009, the GSLHF has flown twenty-two Honor Flights with more than 550 veterans.  There are currently eight flights scheduled for this year, and more are desired.

Each mission begins around 3:00am, with each veteran assigned a guardian prior to boarding a Southwest Airlines flight to Baltimore Airport.  Typically, the veterans are recognized by the crew and passengers as they board the aircraft.  Upon arrival, a busy day begins.  The veterans and their guardians tour the war memorials on the National Mall, culminating at the World War II Memorial.  Often Bob or Elizabeth Dole greet the veterans there as they arrive.  A visit to Arlington national Cemetary to witness the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a moving experience.  "Mail Call," the highlight of any soldier's day, is also part of the agenda, with packets of letters provided by family and even strangers distributed to the veterans.  The group returns to St. Louis late into the evening to a crowd of family members and well-wishers as they deplane.   

Please visit the Greater St. Louis Honor Flight at and contribute your time and resources to this worthy mission!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thank you for having us over to your meeting! This is such an important day to celebrate our Veterans of WWII, and an amazingly moving experience for all involved.
Bob Graves