66 years just flew away
- Article by: TOM MEERSMAN , Star Tribune
- August 12, 2011
Warplane partners who hadn't seen each other since '44 reunited in Edina.
The last time they saw one another was late October 1944. Marine pilot Lloyd Flynn and his gunner mate Dan Williams said goodbye on Engebi Island in the South Pacific after eight months of flying missions together in a two-person warplane.
On Thursday, the two World War II vets saw each other for the first time since that farewell, this time outside Flynn's home in Edina.
"Captain, how are you?" said Williams as he stepped sprightly out of a vehicle, saluted and stretched out his hand, laughing.
Flynn was too choked up to say anything at first, and the two buddies, stooped with age, just hugged.
"I told Bruce it'd be emotional, and it is," Flynn finally choked out. "Son of a gun, how are you?"
Bruce is Williams' son, who instigated the visit and kept it a surprise until his father guessed two days ago why they might be driving across the country for no apparent reason toward Minnesota.
The two vets have been writing letters regularly since 2002, when Flynn learned Williams was living in Aberdeen, Wash.
8 months together in the air
On Thursday, the 88-year-olds wore red caps emblazoned with VMSB-151, standing for the Marine scout bomber that the 151st squadron flew in the Marshall Islands.
Some missions bombed Japanese gun emplacements and airfields on islands before Marine troops would invade.
Others provided air cover to Marines already on the ground, patrolled for Japanese submarines, and convoyed freighters and troop ships to rendezvous points.
The two worked every other day in the air for eight months, and became so close that Williams said he could almost predict what Flynn was thinking....
This truly IS a must read, and has an incredible video interview that you don't want to miss! Here.