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Veterans have opportunity to take free flight in World War II-era plane in Jefferson City

Veterans have opportunity to take free flight in World War II-era plane in Jefferson City

A veteran prepares to take a free ride in a World War II-era Stearman biplane in September 2021 in Jefferson City (file photo courtesy of Veterans United Home Loans community relations manager Chad Moller)

Veterans and the general public are invited to Saturday’s “Fly into the 40s” event at the Jefferson City Memorial Airport. The event will honor veterans and celebrate Operation September Freedom. It’s being hosted by Columbia-based Veterans United Home Loans (VUHL) and is free to the public.

VUHL vice president of military relations Pam Swan tells 939 the Eagle that there will be three World War II-era Stearman biplanes, along with other aircraft.

“We will have a DC-3 that flew in World War II that will have reenactors jumping out with the 1940-eras parachute, the round canopies. We’ll have the All-American veterans team jumping with them as well,” Swan says.

Saturday’s event is from 10 am to 7 pm, and VU is partnering with Dream Flights to honor veterans by taking them on free flights on Friday or Saturday. More than 40 veterans have already registered for a free flight, and World War II veterans are being given preference for the flights.

“We’re giving veterans rides throughout the day on a wait list that if we run out of the scheduled times. And they’re also going to be available to fly veterans on Friday while they’re just doing set-up and stuff,” says Swan.

If you’re a veteran and want to take a free flight, you should e-mail

There will also be vintage military vehicles on-display and live parachuting demonstrations on Saturday. The orchestra band Kapital Kicks will perform, and the Missouri Veterans Commission will be in attendance. Food trucks and drink stations will be on-hand as well.

While admission is free, donations to the Dream Flights are encouraged.