Eight of our Spanish Cove Veterans were honored with taking
Dream Flights in a Boeing Stearman biplane.
James Morton (92) – Bird Colonel
United States Air Force 1947-1977
Part of President-Elect Eisenhower’s trip to Korea in 1952 to advance peace negotiations.
Roy Privott (90) – Corporal
US Army 1952-1954
Roy was in the Military Police, and served in Fort Sill and was with a unit that
guided a rocket launcher off of trucks and got them where they needed to go.
Calvin Kelley (94) – Corporal
US Marines 1952-1954
Calvin was a field radio operator and a forward observer during his time with the Marines.
He was shipped to Japan as the war was ending.
“The highlight for me was the birth of my son during that time.”
Paul Griffin (90) – Sergeant
US Marine Corps 1954-1956
I was on active duty for two years and stationed in Camp Pendleton.
I saw the atomic bomb go off in Nevada.
Barbara Bjork (93) – Captain
US Army Nurse Corp 1951-1957
Barb became a nurse anesthetist during the Korean War and was a captain in the US Army Nurse Corps from 1951 to 1957.
During her service, she became an anesthetist, placing hundreds of patients with a 100% success rate!
Rolland (Rex) Lawrence (90) – PFC
US Army 1952-1954
“The Army taught me electronics and changed my life by allowing me to become an electrical engineer.”
Dale Willhite (92) – Lt. USNR
US Navy 1948-1955
Dale was part of evacuating refugees from Hanoi to Saigon in 1954.
On the trips he was a part of, a child was born on each one.
After the Navy, he worked as a consultant to the Navy on anti-submarine warfare ops for 35 years.
Dan Coates (86) – Lt. CMDR
US Navy 1954 to 1979
Dan was a line officer who dealt with ship
construction, maintenance, and other tasks86
It was a fantastic day watching each Veteran climb in the majestic plane and take to the sky.
The weather could not have been more perfect. The sun was shining, the sky was a beautiful blue, making an excellent day for flying, and the moon even made an appearance.
The day started with a brief history of Dream Flights and the 1940 Blue Stearman they would be flying in.
They would then step onto the plane’s wing, climb into the seat, get buckled in, and then instructions were given about the flight and how to communicate with the pilot during the flight before taking off.
It was time to clear the runway after pictures were taken with helmets and thumbs-up to capture the moment.
The sound of the engine starting and heading toward the runway was exhilarating.
The flight flew around the El Reno area for approximately fifteen minutes before returning and doing one last fly-by for the spectators to know they were coming in for a landing.
Once on the ground, the pilot signed a Dream Flight hat thanking them for their service to keep as a souvenir.
The Veterans didn’t know which camera to look at, with everyone snapping pictures to remember the day; even our own News 9 CBS T.V. Station was there to capture the moment.
It was an honor to celebrate each of our Veterans in such a memorable way!
Thank you to Dream Flights, Sports Clips, and the El Reno Flight Center for giving back to our Spanish Cove Veterans.
It was a day that will never be forgotten by our veterans
and those who came to witness the epic event.