Honor Flight veterans watch historic flyover of WWII aircraft

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Tens of thousands of people flocked to the national monuments Friday in Washington, D.C., for a historic flyover of World War II aircraft.

The Utah Honor Flight veterans were there to celebrate with the crowd.

It was quite a sight as dozens of aircraft from World War II flew down the Potomac River and over the Lincoln Memorial.

"Everyone should come and try to see this," said Grant Woolley, a World War II medic. "Even as you came in the entrance, there's a different feeling. It felt like you left the outside world, and you're in a very sacred place."

That's where they watched with 50 Utah veterans as the planes took them back in time. Ralph Emery, who served in the Army Air Corps on a ship in the Pacific, was amazed some of them could still fly.

“Never in my life did I imagine that I would see what I saw,” Emery said. Emery saw P-51s and Corsairs, one after the other, in addition to a dozen other aircraft.

Shep Shepherd recognized every one of the planes and called it a “good flyover.”

Shepherd worked on those planes as a flight mechanic in the Pacific.

“I was thinking of where I was at and what I was doing at the time,” Shepherd said.

He worked all night on the aircraft, loading bombs on the planes, sending pilots and their crew off on their missions.

"And then sitting back and sweating,” Shepherd continued. “Are they going to come back from that mission, or who's going to get hurt? If somebody got shot today, or not.”

While the vets were thrilled by the vintage planes, much of the crowd who came were enthralled by the vintage vets.


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Jed Boal


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