Wings of Freedom Tour Benefits VFW Post 9182 and Community

| May 1, 2010

George Berg (the oldest member of Post 9182), a WW ll veteran who served in North Africa and Italy; E.D. Christensen, a WW ll veteran, P38 pilot in Europe, D Day Army Air Corps; Paul Zanfardino, WW ll, U.S. Navy; Katy Mayor Don Elder; and Lawrence “Buddy” Wunderle, U.S. Army tank commander and member of General Patton’s 3rd Army.

Veterans take flight in World War II “birds

The Collings Foundation, which owns and operates among others, three World War II war birds (P-51 Mustang, B-24 Liberator Bomber and the renowned Flying Fortress, the B-17), gave Katy VFW Post 9182 members
the opportunity to relive some old memories. Four of its WW II members—George Berg, E.D. Christensen, Buddy Wunderle and Paul Zanfardino—flew in the historic B-17 from Ellington Field to the Houston Executive Airport located in Brookshire.  Accompanying the WW II veterans was Katy Mayor Don Elder. When the flight ended at Brookshire, several of the veterans were emotionally moved.
Additionally, as part of the Texas Tour by The Collings Foundation, the WW II planes were accompanied by a true Vietnam era workhorse, a U.S. Marine Corps Huey helicopter that saw six years of combat in the late ’60s and early ’70s in Vietnam. Three Vietnam vets—Stephen Brady, Mike Warren and Dave Brasell—were afforded the opportunity to fly in and relive their memories in this historic aircraft.
Post Junior Vice Cmdr. Dave Brasell, the local coordinator for this event, said, “The post is most grateful to the Collings Foundation for allowing some of our members to relive and bring back old memories.”
Post members Henry Whitmire, Stephen Griswold and others were given the opportunity to ride from Brookshire to Sugar Land in the B-24 Liberator. VFW Service Officer Sam Luna flew to Sugar Land in the bombardier’s seat on the B-17. It was a fantastic event for veterans and members of the community.
This opportunity for these veterans was made possible through the initial contact of Post Cmdr. retired Col. Peyton Lumpkin, U.S. Air Force, with the personnel at the Collings Foundation in Stowe, Mass.

Senior Vice Cmdr. Mike Mastrangelo and Cmdr. Peyton Lumpkin enjoy this “living history” event at the Houston Executive Airport.


Category: People & Places in KATY

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