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Roger Swanson was honored over the Memorial Day weekend with a special flyover arranged by the Warbird Adventures flight school in Kissimmee.
"Roger visited us several times. He showed up here in his wheelchair," Warbird Adventures Chief Pilot Thom Richard told WOFL. "When we heard of his passing and the unfortunate circumstances, we thought it was very appropriate to honor him.”
Swanson, a former captain in the Air Force, recently passed away at a nursing home in Winter Garden. Nancy, his daughter, told WOFL that even though the coronavirus was not his cause of death, current restrictions kept family from being at his side.
"The world lost a hero and the saddest thing is he had to die alone without a family member there,” she said.
Richard says he called other vintage aircraft owners in the state and they “put together a small formation of four, which is called the 'Missing Man Formation.'"
Swanson’s family told WOFL that they were moved by the gesture.
"It was an amazing thing for them to do, and we just appreciate it so much the whole family was really touched,” niece Karen Jury said.