MUNSTER | When Honor Flight Chicago escorts 95 World War II veterans to Washington D.C. for their day of honor Aug. 22, four Northwest Indiana residents will be among them: Harry Smiddy Jr., 88; Robert Hulett, 92; Joseph McShane, 88, originally from Hammond; and Ray Williams, 89, originally from Dekalb, Ill.
Prior to their all-expense paid visit to the nation’s capital, the men will gather at 11:30 a.m. Monday at The View Restaurant at Centennial Park, 1005 S. Centennial Drive, to share wartime stories, view memorabilia, and discuss their upcoming trip.
Smiddy, for example, flew 111 missions during his wartime tour of duty, carrying both paratroopers and gliders as they flew into enemy territory and retrieving wounded soldiers and flying them to hospitals in England and Paris.
The day-long Washington D. C. visit will include the World War II Memorial completed in 2004, when many of these brave men and women were not physically able to make the trip on their own. Veterans will have time to view its beauty and symbolism and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow veterans. The memorial was built in honor of the 16 million men and women who defended U.S. freedom nearly 65 years ago.