On August 7th (Captain Johns 96th Birthday!) we took off from home base Luray and the only details John knew of this flight were that we would be going somewhere to enjoy a Reuben Sandwich for lunch, and the heading in which to turn towards after takeoff (I did not tell him the heading until we were rolling down the runway)!
About a week earlier, as I was planning something special for Johns birthday (something of coarse that had to do with flying) I made a call to a very good friend of ours Tom Creekmore in Georgetown Delaware. Tom is also a WWII Veteran, serving as Radio Operator on B17’s. He and John are exactly 4 months apart in age, with John being his elder. Even though Tom has been closely following our flights for several years, we have never met him. The phone call was to ask Tom if his schedule would work for us to fly to Delaware Coastal Airport and have lunch together with him for Johns 96th birthday! (the airport restaurant showed Reubens on their menu) Tom was in complete agreement and, as I, all excited to finally get to meet!
So I started planning and the only thing basically I told John was that I had planned a flight somewhere new to get a Reuben…. we both love Reubens, and each new one we get we grade and put on a list! (We have had Reubens from all over the Country) In the meantime, Tom was planning things on his end, he contacted Bill Schull from TV Station WRDE from Rehoboth Beach, Duke Brooks from Radio Station WGMD from Rehoboth Beach, and Ron MacArthur from The Cape Gazette Newspaper, all of which were waiting there as Captain John and I landed! Along with that, Tom organized a fantastic luncheon, which included his lovely lady friend, Rita D’Ascenzo and her daughter, Donna D’Ascenzo, John from the Aviation Museum, and all the news media, to celebrate Captain Johns Birthday (covering all the expenses himself)! I may have missed someone, and if so I do apologize (the luncheon finished up with little Birthday Cupcakes that had little American Flags on top of them! To top it all off, after the luncheon, Tom arranged with Ronald and Tom of the Delaware Aviation Museum for us to have a personal viewing of the B25 Bomber “Panchito”!
What a fantastic day we had, with it being a complete surprise to Captain John (well… he actually did know we were going for a Reuben)! It was absolutely wonderful to finally meet Tom, and a great big thank you goes out to him for his huge part in making this a very special day!
Our great visit ended with many hugs and great big smiles as we departed Delaware Coastal headed for home!
Here is the link where you can see the TV interview of Captain John and Tom Creekmore meeting for the first time…. http://www.wboc.com/…/wwii-veterans-meet-facetoface-for-spe…
Have a Great Day Everyone!