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This is quite an amazing story !…… First we will rewind back in time to Johns final months of active duty in WWII, the date is June of 1945 and the place is Victorville Army Airfield in the Mojave Desert, California. John had just returned from his tour overseas of 14 Bombing Mission’s and 39 OSS Mission’s (All in B24’s) for which he received the Distinguished Flying Cross. Now his post combat assignment back here in the States was B24 Engineering Test at Victorville. He served his remaining time in WWII here from June of 1945 until February of 1946. It was here, in Victorville, that John flew his very last flight in a B24. The exact date of that flight was November 15th 1945!……. John still has the logbook that he recorded that flight in !
Here is a picture of the actual entry …………
Here is a picture of Captain John holding his log book showing his last flight in a B24 at Victorville CA, November 15th 1945 !
Now, lets fast forward back to the present and the time is July 2015. John and I are soon to depart on our Epic Flight Around the Country in Johns Cessna Cutlass 172RG. The purpose and goal of this flight is to bring as much support and attention to Charitable Flying as we can. We have many stops planned around the Country, but one that stands out more than any other is Victorville California! When we stop at Victorville it will be the first time John has landed back there since WWII 70 years ago this year (Yes, you read right, 70 years ago!) At the exact location where he flew his last flight in a B24 ! This is so Amazing …… and you might ask…. what has John been up too during these past 70 years ?……. and the answer would be Flying ! John has never stopped flying during this time and he has accumulated well over 28,000 flight hours of which 35 years was with Eastern Airlines and the past 10 years flying Angel Flights for Angel Flight Mid-Atlantic. John is one of the most active general aviation Pilots you will find and he has no plans of slowing down. And I might add that during our flight around the Country John will celebrate his 92nd Birthday ! John is truly an Aviation Legend and an American Hero …… A Man that has Flown in War and in Peace, with an original Mission to help keep our Great Country Free and now to lend a hand to Those in need. What an Honor it is for me to Share in this Mission around Our Great Country with him ! Thank You So Much Captain Billings ! This is so Worthy of National News Coverage, and I can see the Headlines now…….. WWII Decorated B24 Bomber Pilot, landing back at Victorville 70 years after his last flight in a B24…… Still Active, Still Flying and Still a True American Hero !
A picture of Johns current logbook with a recent entry (Notice the total Hours)