World War II veterans honored with special flight on vintage war plane

Local World War II veterans got a chance to go up in a 1942 Boeing Stearman in Boulder City on Thursday.
Updated: Sep. 23, 2021 at 3:00 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - World War II veterans were honored with a special flight to commemorate their years of service and sacrifice.

Gloria Saucier was one of several World War II veterans that was honored on Thursday, September 23 in Boulder City. Saucier and fellow WWII veterans got a chance fly in a 1942 Boeing Stearman.

“I hope I don’t get sick,” Saucier said. “I hope I don’t get air sick, that would be very embarrassing.”

Saucier said taking to skies is one of her passions. She has always loved to fly.

“The fact that I could fly before I could drive that was a big thrill for me,” Saucier said. “Whenever I hear a plane I still have to look up.”

The 1942 plane was used to train World War II pilots.

“It was used, in its original configuration, to train probably 90% of the world war two pilots,” volunteer pilot for Dream Flight, Molly Littlefield said.

Dream Flight is an organization that gives hundreds of free rides to veterans around the country. Right now, they’re focused on Operation September Freedom, which honors World War II vets specifically.

“They’re the greatest generation and they’re getting older. We need to do it now,” Littlefield said. “In any war, in any cause, there’s always someone who sacrificed in a different way. But this group won’t be here for long to honor them.”

The rides last about 15 minutes and takes veterans over the Hoover Dam.

“We can see the flier’s face in the mirror,” Littlefield said. “And they’re usually smiling. It just looks like they’re reliving a certain time in their life.”

Littlefield said the rides have a lasting effect on participants.

“We’ll get letters from family member saying days later, their dad is still talking about it. Their mom or grandma is telling talking about a particular story they hadn’t thought of or didn’t want to share,” Littlefield said. “So this is an opportunity to for them to get a chance to open up their memory banks and see what comes out.”

For information on how you or someone you know can get on a flight, visit the Dream flights website.