Veterans relive war days

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ATLANTA — Flying in an airplane can be quite the mundane task. Waiting in the security line, waiting to board and even waiting to take off are just a few of the bores of air travel.

However on Aug. 7, three Alpharetta veterans were given a special plane ride they won’t soon forget.

Veterans Art Danielson, Dale Livingston and Dick Davis traveled from Cottonwood Estates independent living home in Alpharetta to the Fulton County Airport in Atlanta.

They were met on the runway by a Boeing Stearman biplane, the same aircraft used to train many military aviators in the late 1930s and early 40s. On this day, they would all take a “Dream Flight.”

The Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation, a nonprofit organization, tours the country providing individuals living in long-term care communities a chance to relive their glory days.

Organization founder and pilot Darryl Fisher echoed the mission statement.

“Today, many of our former United States military pilots live in senior communities,” Fisher said. “We want to take them back to a place in time when they were invincible, ruling the sky as proud military aviators.”

Davis, 86, was active from 1945 to 1949 and served in China and Korea while a member of the Navy.

Livingston, 90, served in the Army Air Corps and Air Force from 1942 to 1968. He was the youngest in a crew in the 8th Air Force to fly a complete combat tour during World War II. Over his career, he tallied 35 combat missions.

The oldest of the group, Danielson, 92, served in the Marine Corps from 1942 to 1945.

Danielson, Livingston and Davis each soared above Atlanta for 20 minutes.

Although Fisher piloted the plane, it reminded Livingston of his younger years flying during war.

“It was great. I felt like I was 19 again,” Livingston said.

RN-8-13