Local veterans of World War II receive honor in “Dream Flight”

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Sarasota, Fla. (WWSB) – On Wednesday, a group of local World War II veterans took a trip of a lifetime at Sarasota Bradenton International Airport in a World War II biplane.

The first is Peter Tominelli, also known as “Chip”. “I’m very excited!” he said.

Next month, he will celebrate his 100th birthday. When ABC7 asked him what is the secret of becoming 100, he replied: “I wish I knew!”

The army veteran served on the island of Espirito Santo in the Gulf of California, and now he is flying again in a fighter jet.

Like him, his friends Joe and Melvin also had the turn of the N2S-3 Stearman, the US’s main trainer during the war. All three live in Cypress Mountain at Lakewood Ranch. “I’ve never been in a biplane,” Joe Abrams said.

However, before takeoff, there was an accident. The Southwest Airlines flight was scheduled to take off first, but the pilot of that plane let them pass to thank them for their service.

“We are here to thank you in a unique way,” said Darryl Fisher, the founder and pilot of Dream Flights.

This flight is part of Operation Freedom in September. He said: “This is the last mission to commemorate World War II veterans nationwide.”

As for Chip, this is a memorable birthday. “I’m very excited, I never thought I would go this far,” he said.

For more information about Dream Flight, click here.

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