Take a look back at some of the highlights and hear from veterans from Honor Flight Chicago's April 11, 2018 flight, the first of the season and first of the organization's second decade.
Don Arseneau waited four years to fly with Honor Flight Chicago. He was forced to cancel on three different occasions because of illness. He was finally ready to receive his day of honor when the unthinkable happened.
On April 11, 99 Chicago-area WWII and Korean War veterans will travel with Honor Flight Chicago to Washington, D.C., for a once-in-a-lifetime day of honor at their national war memorials. These heroic men and women will be the beneficiaries of a special partnership with Popeyes® Chicagoland Co-op.
John Martin was a driver for a battalion commander and platoon leader during the Korean War. His brother served in WWII at the Battle of the Bulge.
Gene’s job in South Korea was to drive diesel locomotives hauling train cars of ammunition, food, K rations and other supplies. The U.S. Army used the Korean rail system, but the train engines were diesel locomotives brought over from the United States.
Bill Howland was a POW during World War II. He estimates there were approximately 300 POWs in his group. About two weeks before the war ended, Bill escaped in part by hiding in a barn in a pile of hay.
Jerome Adler enlisted in the Army, much to the chagrin of his parents. Jerry remarked that his enlistment was motivated in part by the battlefield death of a childhood friend in Korea during the first year of that war.
Jim enlisted in September, 1946 with four buddies from his neighborhood gang, the “Parkside Maulers.” They all had the idea of using the GI Bill after their service.
When the Marine Corps asked for soldiers to volunteer to fight in Korea, Bill stepped forward. He and approximately 5,000 other Marines boarded a Merchant Marine vessel and headed to Korea.
Gerald comes from a family deeply rooted in “answering the call for military duty.” Gerald’s father and uncles all fought in France during World War I and his older brother fought in Europe during WWII.
Don Arseneau was born in the small town of Beaverville, Illinois (pop. 368), near the beginning of the Depression. He was a Plane Captain and Parachute Rigger.
During World War II, Lillian Strezishar was a member of the Cadet Nurse Corps, which served an important part of the United States’ response to entering the war.
Honor Flight Chicago CEO Mary Pettinato has a special message for everyone who helped the organization say thank you to America's senior war heroes over the past 10 years.
Thank you to everyone who came out and supported Honor Flight Chicago at the seventh annual Law Enforcement Hockey Classic.
Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen and America's Dog & Burger both partnered with Honor Flight Chicago to raise money and fly senior war veterans to Washington, D.C.
At Honor Flight Chicago, our mission is clear. We honor our senior war heroes for their service. We thank them for their courage and sacrifice. And in the process, we inspire generations of Americans [...]
Carl Streng served from 1943-1946 as a cook aboard the USS Kadashan Bay (escort carrier) in the Pacific. He worked as a cook and a 40-mm gun loader.
Amos Reinhart did 26 months of duty aboard the USS North Hampton. He traveled the world, from Norway to the Mediterranean to the Arctic Circle.
George Owen received a Purple Heart for his service in the Korean War, which included his involvement in combat battles at Pork Chop Hill and Triangle Hill.
Ed Murray served in the Navy during World War II as well as the Korean War. He received nine medals for his service, including one from the people of Korea.
Louis Megleo served more than two years in the World War II and was based near Bari, Italy. He was involved in 20 combat missions.
Paul Loeffler spent the Korean War as a clerk, was assigned to the famous 2nd Infantry Division and was involved in battle at Heartbreak Ridge.
Korean War veteran Dale Kavanagh went to Fort Benning in Georgia for jump school in part because he was on a quest for higher pay and a sharp uniform
Death, destruction, and total devastation is how 98-year-old WWII veteran Jerry Juliano describes his impression of landing on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944.
Korean War veteran Frank Colin turned a youthful indiscretion into an opportunity that led him down a pathway he now remembers with pride.
Claude Choate served with the US Army from June 1944 to April 1946. His service began on an ominous note when his troop train to basic training derailed.
When Pete arrived in Korea, fierce fighting was still going on, back and forth for inches of ground. He spent 14 months there before returning home.
This day in history: Two days after the U.S. dropped its first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan.
Jess Holcomb served in Korea and was part of the second landing near Inchon. He received three Purple Hearts because he was 'shot once and blown up twice.'
Bill Lillwitz flew 210 missions, received the Bronze Star and 3 Distinguished Flying Crosses. He was shot down once and had to bail out twice.
Joe served from November of 1951 to September 1952 in Korea as a dental hygienist. He found out about the job after he talked to a pretty receptionist.
Erwin Rabin served in the Army from 1953 to 1955. He spent six months in Korea at the end of the war. He was then assigned as a Company clerk in Hawaii.
Jim Vancura served from 1943 to 1946. He served on an amphibious ship that received 2 battle stars. Tours included France, Italy, Africa, Okinawa and China.
Al Vosylius, a native of Lithuania, served in the Army from 1952 to 1954. He worked with the artillery testing team of the US Army 5th Corps.
Wally Wienert served in the Navy from 1948 to 1952. He was assigned to the USS Boxer CV21, a carrier that made four trips back and forth to Korea.
Lawrence served as a heavy equipment operator in Korea. He helped rebuild the Han River waterway and worked with Korean contractors who spoke no English.
Andy was in combat operations code-named Killer and May Massacre, received the Purple Heart, and is in the International Polka Association Hall of Fame.
Honor Flight Chicago CEO Mary Pettinato received a $25,000 check from Sayers Technology President and CEO Christopher Callahan on Wednesday, July 12. The donation was presented at Chicago’s Midway International Airport following Honor Flight [...]
Can you keep a secret? For many years Pat Gerard wasn’t allowed to talk about what he did during his time in service. But today, he can speak freely.
Walter Piekosz was born in Chicago in 1925, one of nine children. At age 17, he decided to join the Navy. He joined even though he didn’t know how to swim.
Roy Stanek thought he would be an engineer during the Korean War, but quickly found himself taking enemy fire during 18 missions as an aerial photographer.
Bill Curry used his top security clearance and his training as a radio operator to monitor and scan radio signals during the Korean War.
Raymond Wirth spent 39 months based in Japan on the USS Valley Forge, which supported air operations against advancing Chinese and North Korean forces.
U.S. Marine Corps Korean War Chicago, IL Flight date: 07/12/17 By Carla Khan, Honor Flight Chicago Veteran Interview Volunteer It was March 1951 and [...]
U.S. Marine Corps World War II Mt Prospect, IL Flight date: 06/07/17 By Carla Khan, Honor Flight Chicago Veteran Interview Volunteer When the 15-year-old Frank Chrzan [...]
U.S. Army Korean War Zion, IL Flight date: 07/12/17 By Jack Walsh, Honor Flight Chicago Veteran Interview Volunteer Pete Balma was very happy when his [...]
Tomorrow marks our nation's 241st birthday. Fireworks. Barbecues. Parades. On this Fourth of July, I ask you to consider doing these four things:
Willard Fruits wanted to get away from farm life in Missouri, so in 1951, at age 19, he set out on a journey to seek a change.
In a desperate attempt to stop North Korean troops from capturing Seoul, the South Korean Army blows up the Hangang Bridge across the Han River. It is the only path of escape for thousands [...]
On June 27, President Truman tells Congress that he had already approved the use of the U.S. Air Force and Navy to defend South Korea. He calls it "a police action," fully mindful that [...]
The Korean War started 67 years ago today. It's known by many as the forgotten war, but we will never forget. On this day, we remember and honor all of our veterans who served during the Korean War.
At dawn on Sunday, June 25, North Korean troops begin a full-scale invasion along large portions of the 38th parallel. The attack begins with heavy artillery fire followed by waves of Soviet-built T-34 tanks [...]
As a photo interpretation specialist during the Korean War, Airman Second Class Milton (Milt) Diller never left U.S. soil, but without his service, there’s no telling how many lives might have been lost nearly 6,000 miles away.
U.S. Public Health Service Korean War Glencoe, IL Flight date: 06/07/17 By Jack Walsh, Honor Flight Chicago Veteran Interview Volunteer Seymour Gottlieb decided [...]
Frank O'Brien served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He shares his story of spending nine months overseas, including some of the frightening sights he saw.
Honor Flight Chicago, the largest hub within the Honor Flight Network, surpassed recognizing 7,000 veterans while flying the organization's 78th flight.
Although the stated intention is for a unified Korea, leaders on either side of the 38th parallel fail to agree on a plan for elections. The government in the south elects its first National [...]
Ever since I helped start Honor Flight Chicago 10 years ago, I’ve felt I have one of the best jobs in the world. Not only do I get to meet inspiring senior war heroes, but [...]
U.S. Navy / Korean War (Yorkville, Ill.) Entering the U.S. Navy carried on a family tradition for Walter Williams. His grandfather, Old Salt, had told stories of his time on a sailing ship; other [...]
The Chinese launch their "Spring Offensive" — also known as the Fifth Offensive — with the intent of re-taking Seoul. With 700,000 men, several battles begin, including the Battle of the Imjin River just north [...]
U.S. Army / World War II (Hobart, IN) The U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps — the nation's first integrated uniformed U.S. service corps —fulfilled an urgent need for nurses at home and abroad during World [...]
U.S. Coast Guard / WWII (Hobart, IN) John Meehan graduated from high school, enlisted in the Coast Guard at the age of 19 and served from 1942 to 1946. He quickly learned the unusual [...]
It’s been 10 years since I had the conversation that changed my life, and eventually the lives of thousands of other people. I was sitting alone with my 89-year-old dad at my parents’ house, [...]
Honor Flight Chicago is proud to present the sixth annual Law Enforcement Hockey Classic on Saturday, March 4, 2017 at The Edge Ice Arena in Bensenville. The game will see the Chicago Police face [...]