Contact Info

Honor Flight of Southern Colorado

Phone: 719-258-9946, Fax 719-392-3737
PO Box 50816
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80949

Fifth Flight

Biographies of the 5th Flight
Anthony Aragon entered the Coast Guard in 1973 and served as a Seaman 1st Class as well as serving in the National Guard and the Army. During WWII he served in the South Pacific on the USS Albireo AK 90 as a shellbuck.
Gordon Ashwood entered the Navy in Texas in 1942. He served as a Machinist’s mate (CB) in the South Pacific – New Caledonia to Okinawa.  Gordon was discharged in November of 1945.
Charles Barnett volunteered for flight training after graduating from high school. He was mustered in Pennsylvania and then was sent to Miami Beach, FL for basic training. He was then Assigned to the Army Air Communications System and went to Westover Field and then onto Mitchell Field. At both places he performed clerical work associated with communications. After Mitchell Field he began processing to head to France. He spent 18 months at Orly Field outside of Paris where he did clerical work and coded/decoded messages he returned to the states and was honorably discharged at Ft. Meade.
Carl Blanchard entered the US Army in January of 1944.  As a Corporal, he was the driver for the Company Commander during his tour in Central Europe, Rhineland and Ardennes.  Carl left the service on May 1, 1946.
Timothy Churchill served in The U.S. Navy Amphibious Forces aboard the USS J. Franklin Bell (APA-16) from April 1944 until April 1946.  The Bell was a Troop Transport vessel in the Pacific Theater. During his time he participated in the landing operations for Saipan, Tinian, the Philippine liberation at Leyte, and Okinawa.  Tim also served in the Korean War aboard the USS Buck and also served during the Vietnam Era. Tim retired from the US Army as a Master Sergeant in January of 1973.
Robert Condron entered the US Navy in 1944 and served in the Pacific Ocean on the USS Taylor 551. Robert left the service in February of 1946.
John J Cotton entered the US Navy in 1943 and was assigned to the USS Talita AKS-8. He was then assigned to the USS Buckingham APA-141 where they landed troops in through the Mariana, Marshalls, Philippines and ended up in Nagasaki, Japan shortly after the bomb was dropped.  We decommissioned the ship in Norfolk, VA in July of 1946.
Carl Davidson entered the service in May, 1945 at the age of 17. He served as a Seaman in the United States Navy in the Asiatic Pacific Area on the USS Cogswell DD651. Carl left the service in October of 1948.
John Froehle entered the US Navy in July, 1946.  After boot camp he was assigned to Class A Fire Control School in San Diego.  In January of 1947 he was assigned to the USS Lloyd Thomas DD764 and was an original crewmember of the March 21, 1947 commission and he is a plank owner of that ship.  He then went to Pearl Harbor in October 1947and then sailed for Australia in January of 1948, crossing the equator on January 21, 1948. From there he traveled west around the world.
Richard Gottlieb entered the service at the age of 17 in 1943. Attended Citadel in South Carolina and then decided to go into the service where they waited for his 18th birthday.  From Fort Dixon he went to Greensboro North Carolina for basic training, then off to Laredo Texas for Gunnery Instruction and then qualified for an instructor.  He also served in Walla Walla, Washington as an instructor and then off to Spinazzola Italy assigned to the 15th Air Force and was a gunner on 12 missions with the 780th Bomb Squadron, 465th Bombardment Group.
Sed Hall entered the service in 1942 and was a part of the Seebees building air strips in the South Pacific.  Afterwards was accepted to Flight School and served on two aircraft carriers; The Boxer and the 2nd Princeton.  He was a PBM Torpedo Bomber, amassing over 2000 flying hours.  He was released after 10 years in the Naval Reserves.
Cliff Hibpshman was in the United States Army from 1942 to 1946 as a Staff Sergeant. He did his basic training in Cheyenne, Wyoming when he was 22 years old. From there, he went to New Orleans to Camp Harahan, where he finished his training.  Then, he took a train up the east coast to Camp Shanks, New York, and then shipped out overseas to Scotland on the Ship Aquitania. He then went to Fountain Blue, France, where he worked as a company carpenter. He also received his Battle Star here. When the war ended he spent the last 6 months of his enlistment in Paris, France, taking charge of the Carpenter Shop on Avenue Dena. He was also asked to enclose jeeps for officers. It was the best duty he ever had.
Jim Hubbard entered the service in 1945 straight from the farming fields of Nebraska, and trained as Infantry and then Advanced Infantry.  He had shipped out and was heading towards Hawaii and then the Invasion of Japan.  While in route the Bomb was dropped and Sergeant Hubbard served in the detached service on the Hawaiian Islands as a payroll courier.  After 2 years he returned to Nebraska, attended a Veterans Agricultural school and then continued farming. 
Donald Joiner enlisted in the US Navy in Feb. 1945 and spent his boot camp days in San Diego, California. He was then stationed in Guam until August 1946.  In 1947 he enlisted in the Navy Reserves where he served until 1952.
John Lee entered the US Marine Corps from Texas in August, 1946.  He served in Taku Bar China, Peking, China and then Guam from 1947-1948.
Gerald T. McCann Enlisted the first time in 1939 at the age of 19.  He was first stationed in Sturgis SD., and serviced in the medical corps as the person who monitored the anesthesia.  After that he was trained in X-Ray and that was how he served the military throughout the rest of his long career in the Army.  During WWII he was with the First American Division, in the Pacific.  He was involved in the invasion of Okinawa and landed on yellow beach with the 71st Station Hospital.  Gerald was on Okinawa until he was discharged in Nov. of 1945. Gerald reenlisted within two months and was stationed at numerous places, in the US, Japan and did a special assignment on Christmas Island during nuclear testing. Gerald’ longest station was at Ft. Carson, CO. where he retired as a Sargent First Class.  Gerald has lived in Colorado Springs ever since.
Lester I. McLaughlin Les was 20 years old when he was drafted on March 2, 1943.  After training he headed to Africa to find fighting was over and then headed to Sicily. Les then went up the toe of Italy where they joined the infantry invasion force.  Then slowly on to Naples crowded by the Germans.  Artillery shelling killed several men and put Les in the hospital in Naples where he received his 1st Purple Heart.  When he rejoined his regiment they went to Pigmatero and set up communications for the 2nd corp.  The truck he arrived in moved forward a few feet and hit a land mine.  Several men were killed and Les suffered blast concussion putting him in the hospital where he received his 2nd purple heart. Les then moved close to the Rapido River in Lira Valley coming from the left side of the Monte Casino River.  Crossing the Rapido River, Les was injured with a blast concussion from mortar and received his 3rd purple heart while in the hospital. He went from Rome to Florence setting up communications all the way.  Then on to Florence catching a supply truck to Petromalla.  They lived in the woods in deep snow for several months just below Bologna they crossed the Po River running into Germans.  He ran phone lines to Milano where Mussolini was hanging. Les went north of Venice and then back to Rome and Naples where he boarded a ship for home.
Charles Miller entered the US Navy in January, 1945 and served as a radio operator on three ships in the South Pacific;  USS Currier, Destroyer Escort  and USS George DE.  He patrolled the areas around Guam and Okinawa and was onboard the ship when the US bombed Japan. 500 of his boot camp brothers were sent to the Invasion of Japan.  He served in the Occupation of China and was involved in escorting nationalists. Charles left the service in 1948. He refers to this as his “three year cruise”.
Gene Noel was drafted out of high school on June 18th, 1945 from Steger, IL. He was sent to Italy during the occupation after VE Day. He was in the infantry and also played in the band. Achieved the rank of TEC 5. Was discharged Feb 3, 1947 and returned to Steger, IL.
Buster Norris entered the Marines in 1944 and served in Quantico VA during the war. 
Eldon Price At the start of WW II, I was at the University of Nebraska and my folks wouldn't let me go into the military service. My brother was working in a Douglas defense factory in El Segundo, Calif. so I went there and designed tools for the manufacture of the Navy SBD airplane. Because of the need of the Navy for this weapon I was deferred several times. Finally, in 1944 the company stopped my deferment and I joined the Navy & went through the USN flight program. Then the war ended & I was in the Navy Reserve and was active in flying out of the Naval Air Station in Oakland, Calif. during the time I attended & finally graduated from California Polytechnic University.  From there I went back to Douglas Aircraft where I spent 10 years flight testing new airplanes. After that I was assigned to Strategic Air Command Headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska, where I was active in many military programs. I flew a few missions on the Douglas KC-10 tanker to refuel other U.S. airplanes in the Korean War. Eventually I retired from the Navy after 20 years as Lt.jg and spent the rest of my career with McDonnell Douglas.
Fred Radestock I enlisted in the Army in 1946 and was sent to Korea in the Occupation Forces.  I was in the 63rd Infantry Regiment Co. E at Camp Hillenmeyer, Kunsan, Korea.   I was a Rifleman and later, assigned to the Post Engineers.  I was a Heavy Construction Operator, building roads, clearing lands for the building of living quarters, and other large earth moving projects.  I was discharged January 1948.  My service awards were World War II Victory Medal and the Army of Occupation medal - Japan. In June 1950 I joined the Illinois National Guard and was assigned to the C768 AAA Gun Battalion, which was part of the 109th Antiaircraft artillery brigade.  In May 1951 we were called into active duty to protect large cities and were assigned two sites around Chicago.  This was during the Korean war era, June 27, 1950 until July 1954.  We were on active duty May 1951 to April 1950.  I was discharged from the Guard June 25, 1953 as a Master Sgt.
John Ross entered service the latter part of 1942 and within a few months was selected for pilot training at age 19.  Graduated 70 years ago this month (February) at which time began 4-engine, B-24 Bomber transition and upon completion was assigned as aircraft commander.  In this capacity I was charged with meshing the skills of ten well trained specialists into a combat ready crew and soon after D-Day was assigned to the 8th Air Force in England.  As a crew we successfully completed 35 combat missions over Germany and returned to the states in April 1945.  Our most memorable mission was flown Christmas Eve 1944 during "The battle of the bulge". in which more than 2000 B-24s and B-17s bombers participated and according to historians, was a turning point in ending the European War. 
Charles Tomsick entered the Army in 1943 and served in the Philippines, Luzon, Auckland New Zealand, New Caledonia, Guadalcanal, and was on his way to the Invasion of Japan when the Bomb was dropped.  He was tasked with continuing on to be a part of the Occupation troops.  He served as a Combat company runner and messenger, worked at the Regimental and Company supply, and spent some time as an armorer. 
Barlow Westcott entered the Army Air Force in 1940 and served in Tallahassee FL, Trinidad, British East and West Indies, Antigua, Puerto Rico, Fresno CA, and Ogden Utah.  He retired as a Senior Master Sergeant in 1967.

Sam Stephens entered the Army in December of 1944 from Grant City, Mo.  He served as a foot shoulder and was a part of 7 beach landings in the Asiatic Pacific. Sam was a CPL and left the service in August of 1946.
Michael Nail entered the Army in 1969, serving in Germany and Vietnam. Michael left the service in 1972.