Chicago Department of Aviation
Final Honor Flight Chicago Trip of the 2012 Season Today


CHICAGO, October 23, 2012 - A total of 86 World War II veterans from the Chicago area were at Midway International Airport this morning for what some have called "a dream flight."


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A "Legacy Girl" greets WWII veterans at Midway

This was the tenth and final flight of the 2012 season for Honor Flight Chicago to Washington D.C. to visit the WWII Memorial. Honor Flight Chicago and Southwest Airlines facilitate the trips, with help from the United Service Organizations (USO) of Illinois volunteers.

Guardian Bruce Rylance talks to Navy Seaman William Dise and Navy Cook Henry Compers


While in the nation's capital today, the veterans experienced a day of reflection and remembrance for many veterans 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.


Over the past five years, Honor Flight Chicago has made 45 trips to the nation's Capitol and sponsored over 3,900 World War II veterans on the flights.


Mary Pettinato, CEO of Honor Flight Chicago said, "There are still about 22,000 World War II veterans in the area that we would like to contact for our upcoming travel season, beginning in spring 2013".


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Air Force Lt. Howard Hass, Army Lt. Edward Zale and Hoonr Flight Chicago CEO Mary Pettinato

WLS-TV reporter Paul Meincke and crew attended this morning's departure celebration to cover a personal story about Porter Cross, 87, a Navy Seaman who served in the Pacific Theater from 1943 to 1946. Meincke shared the Englewood man's story on ABC 7's 5 p.m. newscast


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Navy Seaman Porter Cross and daughter Cynthia Seward

As always, the traveling veterans, their guardians and Honor Flight Chicago volunteers received a rousing send-off by the vocal trio "Legacy Girls," who pay tribute to the well-known Andrew Sisters. 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.


For more information about Honor Flight Chicago, please visit



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