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March 23, 2010 – Katy, Texas – The Collings Foundation, which owns and operates, among others, three World War II war birds (P-51 Mustang, B-24 Liberator Bomber and the renowned Flying Fortress – the B-17) gave the Katy VFW Post 9182 the opportunity to relive some old memories Wednesday, March 17 through Friday, March 19.  Four of our WW II members (George Berg, E.D. Christensen, Buddy Wunderle and Paul Zanfardino) flew in the historic B-17 on Wednesday from Ellington Field to the Houston Executive Airport located in Brookshire, TX.  Accompanying the WW II veterans was Katy Mayor Don Elder. When the flight ended at Brookshire, several of the veterans were emotionally moved. 

George Berg (the oldest member of Post 9182; WW ll veteran who served in North Africa and Italy), E.D. Christensen (WW ll veteran, P38 pilot in Europe; D Day Army Air Corps), Paul Zanfardino (WW ll, US Navy), Katy Mayor Don Elder and Lawrence "Buddy" Wunderle (US Army tank commander and member of General Patton's Third Army) Photo by Wallace Klekar.

Additionally, as part of the Texas Tour by The Collings Foundation, the WW II planes were accompanied by a true Vietnam era workhorse, a USMC Huey Helicopter that had seen six years of Combat in the late 60’s and early 70’s in Vietnam.  Three of our Vietnam Vets (Stephen Brady, Mike Warren and Dave Brasell) were afforded the opportunity to fly in and relive their memories in this historic aircraft.

Post Junior Vice Commander Dave Brasell, the local coordinator for this event said, “The Post is most grateful to the Collings Foundation for allowing some of our membership to relive and bring back old memories.”  On Friday post members Henry Whitmire, Stephen Griswold and others were given the opportunity to ride from Brookshire to Sugar Land in the B-24 Liberator.  VFW Service Officer Sam Luna had the opportunity to fly to Sugar Land in the bombardier’s seat on the B-17.  It was a fantastic event for veterans and members of our community.

This opportunity for our veterans was made possible through the initial contact of Post Commander, Colonel Peyton Lumpkin, USAF (Ret), with the personnel at the Collings Foundation in Stowe, Mass.  Please mention you found this on www.KatyMagazine.com.

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