Five WWII veterans took to the sky once again. This time their service was not required. It was being honored.
Friday, February 13, 2015, retired Lt. Col. Maury Marler, retired Sgt. Larry Wildermuth, retired Corporal Hal Fones, retired LTJG Bill Cruikshank, and retired First Lt. Fred Charles joined Kenmore Air pilot Joseph Leatherman at the Will Rogers–Wiley Post Memorial Seaplane Base.
Tied to the dock was a de Havilland Beaver N72355. Upon seeing the plane, the men joked with Joe about wanting to take the stick. “I’d rather be sitting there,” said Marler, nodding to the pilot’s chair as he climbed into the co-pilot seat.
Taking off to the North, Leatherman flew the men over downtown Seattle, Elliot Bay, and CenturyLink Field. He took them past the Seahawks training facility, several of their old neighborhoods and the University of Washington campus. And then, Leatherman brought them back, gracefully landing on the South end of Lake Washington.
“Thank you. The whole flight was incredible. It’s been years since I saw Seattle from the sky,” said Charles.
“We’re honored and humbled by the commitment and sacrifice our service men and women make. Being able to recognize them, even in a small way such as this, is a privilege,” said Kenmore Air president, Todd Banks.