Three World War II veterans who live in the Milwaukee Catholic Home will fly to Washington, D.C., participating in the Honor Flight program, a group whose mission is to fly veterans to see monuments and memorials.
Ed De Preter, Bernie Flatley, and Tom Goss will head for the nation’s capitol early in the morning on Saturday, April 16. The three men have known each other for many years, attending Holy Family parish in Whitefish Bay and now living at the Milwaukee Catholic Home.
The Honor Flight project began in 2005, one year after the completion of the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. Honor Flight has an expanding network with hubs around the country. Honor Flight has already served over 600,000 veterans nationally.
De Preter, 86, volunteered for the draft in 1943. Later that summer he started his training to be an Air Corp Cadet in the Air Force. In January of 1945 he was assigned to the 96th Bomb Group, AAF Station 138, at Snetterton Heath in East Anglia, England. He served as navigator on a plane that flew 30 missions to Germany and France. He was eventually promoted to first lieutenant.
Flatley, 87, was drafted when he 17. He served as an engineer gunner in the 464th bombardment Group in the 15th Air Force and was stationed in Italy. He flew in 51 missions; the normal limit is 30 missions. His missions mainly targeted German controlled oil fields in Ploesti, Romania. He also flew to Germany and other locations. He left the Air Force as a technical sergeant.
Goss, 87, joined the United States Marine Corps before World War II had begun. He was stationed in the South Pacific on Green Island. He bombed islands in the Philippines during his missions. He participated in dive-bombing missions during the Korean War using a new Corsair airplane. He retired from the Marine Corps as a Major.
The three will join many other veterans at Mitchell International Field on Saturday, April 15 for a 7:00 a.m. flight. They will depart for Washington, D.C. There they will tour the various monuments and memorials, highlighted by the new World War II Memorial. The veterans will return to Milwaukee between 8:00 and 9:30 p.m. on Saturday.
De Preter, Flatley, and Goss currently live in The Residence at the Milwaukee Catholic Home. MCH will hold a send off party for the men on Friday, April 15 at 4:30 p.m. The media is welcome to attend.
Milwaukee Catholic Home is an accredited continuing care retirement community for older adults. The Residence, 2462 N. Prospect Ave., is a 126 unit apartment complex for older adults. The Health & Rehabilitation Center, located next door at 2330 N. Prospect Ave., has 122 private skilled nursing rooms, 29 assisted living apartments, intergenerational adult day programming, specialized Alzheimer’s and dementia care and rehabilitation services. The two buildings are connected via an underground walkway, which is also connected to Columbia- St. Mary’s Hospital. We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising and marketing program in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap or national origin
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