Contact Info


Honor Flight of Southern Colorado
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Phone: 719-258-9946, Fax 719-392-3737
5262 N Nevada Ave #130, PMB 242
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80918

First Flight

 

 

 

Honor Flight of Southern Colorado is extremely honored to be taking an amazing group of veterans on the inaugural flight. Each one served the country to their best abilities;  they truly are the Greatest Generation, they deserve to see the memorial erected in honor their service built in Washington D.C.   

 

 Inaugural Flight Pictures

In Memory of John Bledsoe


 

Meet the Veterans of our First Flight!

 

  Albert A. Krall (May 3, 1923)

Albert joined the Army in the 32nd Infantry Division as a Combat Engineer in 1943 in Pueblo, CO and served until 1946 as a Tech. 4. With the skills of a civilian sign maker Albert had an interesting story during the war. He served in New Guinea where he was moved from his division to Head Quarters to replace another sign maker who was killed in the Good Friday bombings of 1943. From there he went to the Philippines where he was injured and sent back to New Guinea to recover for three months. When it was time to go back to Manila the plane he was to take was over filled so Albert stayed back. The plane and his records of service went down in the South Pacific; Albert however, made it safely to Manila on a later flight. While in the Philippines he saw Namishita surrender control to the Americans. He then headed to Japan where he saw the aftermath of Hiroshima and spent his time destroying Japanese training planes. Finally he was able to return to the United States after a horrible boat ride and a railroad strike he made it back to Denver only to find out he had malaria and all his records were lost aboard the plane he did not board! Albert is excited for this group to go see the WWII memorial in June.

  Donald P. Carbaugh (November 2, 1926)

Donald joined the Army in 1945 in Strasburg, VA and served in the Army until 1946 as a Private First Class Technical 4th Grade.  He started out in the infantry but when he got to the Philippines he was placed in with the medics serving at a former POW Camp. Donald was on his way to assist with the invasion of Japan when the war ended, so instead he spent his time in Japan guarding POWs.  He then reenlisted in the Army until 1952 where he spent his time in Hawaii at Schofield as an instructor. In 1953 Donald reenlisted in the Air Force in which he served for twenty years until 1968. During his time in the Air Force he was fortunate enough not to go to Korea, he spent some of his time in Europe and had a four year stint at the United States Air Force Academy. Donald is proud to wear the hat that says he is a Veteran of three wars: WWII, Korea, and Vietnam.

 

  Donald D. Knapp (November 23, 1921)

Donald joined the Army Air Corp in 1942 in Pueblo, CO and served until December 1945. During the war Donald spent his time at Laredo Army Air Base in Laredo, Texas as a Staff Sergeant and Aerial  Gunnery Instructor. He is proud of his serve his to country although he did was fortunate to not see any combat during his service.

  Iona  “Sherm” Connolly (July 5, 1918)

Sherm joined the Women’s Army Corp (WAC) in Seward, Nebraska in 1942 and served until 1970 as a Lieutenant Colonel. She originally went to sign up for an OCS commission but when her transcripts were unavailable she joined up with the WAC right away. She was part of the first WAC group that trained in Ft. Des Moines Iowa.  She eventually went to OCS school after a year in the WAC. Sherm served all over. In 1944 she went to England to support to the soon to be D-Day invasion. After D-Day Sherm and her fellow WACs were in Normandy living in tents supporting the invasion and in September of 1944 she followed the invasion route all the way to Paris. Sherm discharged from the Army in 1945 only to re-commission in 1948 and serve until 1970.

  John K. Bledsoe (June 4, 1924)

John joined the Navy as a Aviation Ordinance man Petty Officer 3rd Class in Denver, CO in 1942 and served until 1946. John started out training in Idaho where he contracted different fevers and was laid up on limited duty or in the hospital for a about a year. That did not stop John he then went on to San Pedro California as part of the Carrier Aircraft Service Unit and then onto Alameda Naval Air Station. John was proud to serve through illness and stateside during the war.

  Kenneth D. Wagner (January 30, 1928)

Kenneth joined the United States Navy in 1945 in Lincoln, NE and served in the Navy until 1947. Although late to the war Kenneth served on the USS Chickasaw in the Pacific Theatre of Operations and supported the Atomic Bomb tests at the Bikini Atoll in 1946. After serving in the Navy as a Seaman First Class, Kenneth joined the United States Air Force in 1948 and served in Korea as a Staff Sergeant until 1952.

  Merle W. Kneebone (August 3, 1922)

Merle joined the Army as a Tech Sergeant in Flandreau, SD in 1940 and served until 1945. Merle started out training in California in 1940 and went to Pearl Harbor in November 1941. He left just days before the attack on Pearl on December 7, 1941. He was supposed to be headed to the Philippines instead he was routed to Brisbane Australia to a warm welcome on Christmas 1941. From there Merle traveled north to Port Darwin. From there Merle spent time in New Guinea and other smaller islands in the Pacific. Finally in January 1945 he made it to the Philippines, where he was part of an assault on the Japanese defenses. After being discharged in 1945 Merle went back to civilian life until Korea in which he served for a year as a Master Sergeant before officially ending his Army career.  Merle wants to let all the lovely single ladies out there know he’s still available! 

  Raymond L. Cook (August 26, 1924)
Raymond joined the Marines Corps in 1943. During his time in the service he was in the 24th Marines, 4th Marine Division (also known as the Fighting Fourth).  Raymond served as a machine gunner in several of the major battles of World War II in the Pacific. He was present when Baker Company was founded and he participated in battles in Namur, Saipan, Tinian, and Iwo Jima. In the short space of one year and nineteen days the 4th Division participated in four major assaults, won two Presidential Unit citations, and suffered total 17,722 total battle casualties, 14,424 wounded, and 3,298 killed or died of wounds.It appears through recent research that Raymond is one of only two or three members of the original Baker Company that are still alive in the United States. 

  Roberta J. Henry (May 9, 1921)

Roberta joined the Navy in 1943 in Traverse City, MI and served until 1946. Roberta served in many Naval hospitals as a Lieutenant. She was a part of the Special Naval Advance Group that went from England and followed and supported the D-Day invasions. Roberta’s last duty station was Naval Air Station in San Diego, CA.  In 1946 went inactive and joined the reserves and served until 1952. Roberta is also a charter member of the Women’s WWII Memorial.

  Robert L. Walters (June 19, 1925)

Robert joined in the United States Navy in 1943 in Pueblo, CO and served until 1946 as an Electrician Mate 3rd Class. Robert spent most of the war island-hopping in the South Pacific on CASU 8819 setting up transition camps on each island.

  Robert F. Zecha (June 17, 1924)

Robert joined the Army Air Corp in 1942 in Colorado Springs, CO and served until November 1945. During the war Robert was a Staff Sergeant traveling all over the United States from Florida to California. From 1943-1945 Robert was in Foggia Italy.

  Wayne M. Henry (November 23, 1923)

Wayne joined the Army Air Corp in 1942 in Denver, CO and served until 1946 as a Staff Sergeant. During the war Wayne was a part of the B29 group out of Guam. He served in one bombing mission before the war ended. As Wayne says “I was a right blister gunner on a B29. I will always remember the flight over the Missouri for the signing of the surrender. Then “we buzzed Hiroshima to view the destruction.” Wayne is married to Roberta Henry who is also going on this flight.

 


 

 Honor Flight of Southern Colorado on behalf of our WWII "Greatest Generation" Heroes would like to take a moment to give many thanks to all of OUR GENEROUS SPONSORS

Honor Flight Network Team

Mary and the Rocky Mountain Honor Flight Team Mentors    

  Bev and Craig Harms - Woodland Park WindSymphony and Swing Band

Applebee’s on Godard Street in Colorado Springs

Major General (Retired Air Force) Gar Graham and the Pikes Peak Round Table

VFW Post 4051 (Colorado Springs)

Park State Bank of Woodland Park

  Military Officers Association of America

  Rotary Club of Colorado Springs InterQuest

Associates in General and Vascular Surgery, P.C

    The American Medical Response team (Colorado Springs)

  U.S. Air Force Academy 10 MDG/SGHM

  Doctors Supply Inc. (Colorado Springs)

  The Peak Grill

   Lockheed Martin – Colorado Springs

   Veterans Day Annual Dinner attendees and opportunity draw contributors

   Cripple Creek Veterans Rally supporters

  Mel and Dragomans Shooting Range and Military Museum

  Tri-West (Colorado Springs)

  Chick-Fil-A

    Macy’s (Colorado Springs)

Honor Hands of Colorado

   Quilts from the Heart, INC 501 (c)3 org

  Craft Fair Vendors and supporters

  Many individual donors at various events

  All Honor Flight of Southern Colorado (Past and Present) Board and team members

 

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