|By Carmelo Turdo
Dream Flights made two tour stops in the St. Louis area this fall, each time with a different Stearman aircraft and crew. The first aircraft and crew arrived on September 1 at Creve Coeur Airport when pilot Andrew Lohmar and crew chief Allyssa VanMeter (aka Fly Allyssa) landed on the grass runway at 3:30 P.M. following a Dream Flight event in Neosho, MO. The 1943 Boeing Stearman B75N1 N69652 is similar to the over 10,000 used to train U.S. and Canadian military service pilots during World War II. They were later used by civilian pilot training schools and became a standard crop dusting platform for decades. The vertical tail surface is immortalized with the signatures of the veterans flown in the aircraft. Five World War II veterans were flown over St. Charles County the next day.
The St. Louis area was fortunate to have another Dream Flight scheduled for Monday, September 6, at St. Louis Downtown Airport just across the Mississippi River in Cahokia, IL. World War II veteran Robert Schultz (99), U.S. Marine Corps, served on the USS California (repaired from the attack on Pearl Harbor) in crucial battles across the Pacific Theater. After the war, he used the G.I. Bill to obtain a degree in business administration and worked in real estate and insurance. "I actually never retired, I just kind of slowly faded away!" He was surrounded by family, friends and members of the local and district VFW. He flew with pilot Clint Cawley assisted by his wife, Andrea, in the original Dream Flights "Super Stearman" restored by the Fisher family.
The Aero Experience original story can be found at: Dream Flights Honors Six World War II Veterans During Visits to St. Louis Airports. We also feature a video below covering the highlights of each visit. Thanks to Dream Flights for honoring our World War II veterans in this unique way, and we hope to host more flights in the coming year.