Honor Flight Bluegrass to fly Kentuckiana WW II veterans to Wash - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Kentuckiana WW II veterans prep for special trip to Washington, DC

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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Monday marks the 67th anniversary of D-Day. On June 6, 1944, thousands of allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy, France to fight Nazi Germany during World War II. To honor the people who served during World War II, Honor Flight Bluegrass is taking some World War II veterans to Washington, DC. We 3 sat down with one of the World War II veterans making the trip.

James Allen, 84, has seen the world, but says he wouldn't miss this trip for the world.

"I knew when I was 12-years-old I wanted to be in the Navy, so as soon as I hit 17, I was there," Allen said.

Allen joined the United States Navy in 1944 during World War II and worked as a radarman.

"Well, I was aboard three ships," Allen recalled. "The first was one of the old delivery ships that were made during World War II. The second ship was an aircraft carrier. The USS Oriskany. I was aboard there for 3 years."

During his 10 years of service, Allen volunteered to be in the Korean War

"I was there in the Marshall Islands of Bikini for the first two atomic bomb tests they had out there," Allen said.

Allen and more than 100 other World War II veterans were set to make a special honor flight to Washington, DC Monday to visit the memorials to the wars they fought.

"There'll be a lot of story telling and shaking of hands. But, there'll also be some tears as we remember the friends that didn't make it back," Allen said.

It'll be a time to honor their friends who died while serving and protecting our nation.

"Those are the heroes," Allen said. "Those are the ones we are honoring. I don't feel like...that I should have that honor. But I do appreciate it."

From one generation of service members to another, Allen has these words: "They're doing a great job and we're proud of them Just be careful out there. And write your mama, because she worries about you!"

The veterans won't have to pay a dime for the trip. Their airfare, ground transportation and food are all covered, thanks to donations and grants from organizations and people across the Commonwealth.

Copyright 2011 WAVE 3 News.  All rights reserved.

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