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World War II veterans take to the skies over the Gallatin Valley

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Posted at 6:18 PM, Aug 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-15 21:07:28-04

The Greatest Generation took to the skies in a Stearman biplane at Summit Aviation on Sunday, thanks to Dream Flights and organizer Greg Baker.

Thirteen World War II veterans gathered Sunday morning, paying tribute to those lost, highlight our local heroes, and to ready themselves for a flight tour around the valley. Dream Flights is a non-profit organization, dedicated to honoring those that have served with adventure.

Greg Baker is the local organizer that brought Dream Flights to Bozeman, and he notes the incredible feats that these men have accomplished.

“Well, I don’t know what else you can say. ‘The Greatest Generation’ pretty much says it all. These guys were in the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, fought against some pretty bad enemies. A gentleman was involved in the Raiders attack,” Baker said.

Sunday began with an opening ceremony. As the sound of "Taps" played, hats were removed and hands covered hearts of everyone to remember those that have passed. The Armed Forces Medley played next, highlighting the different service branches of our military.

As the Air Force tune filled the room, Sergeant Robert Weber rose to his feet. Weber was a plane gunner from 1944 to1946 and recalled stories of his time in training and also sending resources to prisoners of war in China.

“So it was our job, we flew five ‘PW’ missions to all the different camps that we had there. We parachuted pallets of supplies; we had to fly just above stalling speed at about 200 feet and drop in parachutes and drop them in the stockade,” Weber said.

Following the war, Weber moved from Los Angeles to Seattle, finally hitchhiking his way back to the state of Montana.

Weber expressed his excitement to return to flying, even if he was just a passenger, and to see the Gallatin Valley from up above.

Dream Flights will continue flying with our local World War II veterans on Monday, documenting and capturing the moments that will last a lifetime.