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News Room

Aug 1, 2012

MAC One Serves Veterans Bound for Washington, D.C. via Honor Flight, August 1, 2012


This morning, 96 World War II veterans from the Chicago area received a special morning send-off celebration at Midway International Airport prior to their departure to Washington, D.C. for a day trip to visit the WWII Memorial.

Chicago Department of Aviation

Ninety-six WWII Veterans visit Memorial in Washington, D.C. with Honor Flight Chicago





CHICAGO, August 1, 2012 -- This morning, 96 World War II veterans from the Chicago area received a special morning send-off celebration at Midway International Airport prior to their departure to Washington, D.C. for a day trip to visit the WWII Memorial.

While in the nation's capital today, the veterans will experience a day of remembrance and reminiscing for some who have waited more than 60 years to see the WWII Memorial. The veterans will also visit the Iwo Jima, Lincoln, Korean and Vietnam memorials. Honor Flight Chicago and Southwest Airlines facilitate the trips, with support from the United Service Organizations (USO) of Illinois.

Some of the veterans included Bob Roenna, Sylvester Williams and Ed Godfrey. Roenna, 88, was a member of the elite and then-newly formed Army Rangers and served in Italy. After an ambush by Germans during the Battle of Anzio, in the Italian coastal town of the same name, Roenna spent 16 months in German POW camps.

Williams, 91, an Army Sergeant, fought in Eurpope from 1942 through 1945 and was awarded five Bronze Stars for his service.

Eighty-eight-year-old Godfrey is a veteran of three foreign war conflicts. Trained as a Marine fighter pilot during World War II, Godfrey saw more action in the Korean and Vietnam Wars. He flew 163 combat missions and was awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses, one Bronze Star with Valor, and eight other air medals.

The morning's departure celebration included performances by the vocal trio "Legacy Girls," who pay tribute to the famous Andrew Sisters, a successful, close harmony singing group of the of the 1930s and 40s. The Legacy Girls perform popular songs of the World War II era and do roll-call for all branches of the Armed Services.

Midway Airport Concessions (MAC One) provided breakfast sandwiches, coffee and juice for the veterans before boarding their plane.

Hundreds of family, friends and supporters are expected to welcome the veterans when they return to Midway this evening. In addition, dozens of active duty military personnel; the USO of Illinois; and Chicago Police Department Pipes and Drums Corps will participate in the arrival festivities.

This is Honor Flight Chicago's sixth flight of the 2012 season, which runs through October.

For more information about Honor Flight Chicago, please visit www.honorflightchicago.org.