Iowa WWII veterans take to air in Stearman biplane

OTTUMWA, I.A. – Three World War II veterans from the Ottumwa area were treated to a ride in a World War II-era aircraft. A Stearman biplane is one of six of such restored aircraft touring the United States with an organization called Dream Flights. The pilots are visiting 300 cities to give rides to over a thousand World War II heroes.

Bill Jones, Chuck Osing and Allan Augustine were escorted to the Ottumwa Regional Airport in the retirement home’s activity bus. At least one of the veterans was reportedly dressed and ready to go at 6 a.m. for the 10:30 a.m. event.

Steph Christner works at Great Oaks Estates where the three veterans reside. “I was sitting in a marketing Zoom meeting and it was mentioned. I got off the Zoom meeting and I thought that was pretty cool, let’s find out more information,” said Christner. “I sent a few emails, got information back, yeah, we’re definitely going to send them up.”

The three veterans, Osing, Augustine and Jones, were honored with a brief program, including a color guard and a speech from the local chaplain, Doug McAntire, at the VFW Post 775 in Ottumwa.

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