WWII veteran who served in 3 wars soars the skies one last time

A World War II veteran who served as a pilot in three wars got his wish on Saturday to take one last flight through the Kansas skies.

Sam Northway, 91, flew a WWII Army biplane around the Crossroads Hospice and Palliative Care after the staff, through its “gift for a day” program, joined the Commemorative Air Force to arrange the flight, FOX4KC reported.

“I never did want to go someplace in an airplane. I just liked to fly,” Northway told the news station.


Northway served as a Navy pilot and seaman during World War II. He recalled receiving letters from his “sweetie” then, but lost all the letters during the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941. He later joined the Air Force and served in the Korean and Vietnam wars.

Northway has always loved flying and is constantly fascinated with vintage aircraft, calling them “beautiful planes.” But his health has made it hard for the veteran to do a final flight, Northway’s daughter, Judy Northway, told FOX4KC.

“It means the world. The last year for him hasn’t been real great health wise. So for him to be able to do this is such a treat for him, and he deserves it greatly,” she said.

The veteran flew the plane for about 30 minutes and was overcome with emotion as the aircraft soared in the air.

“The earth looks beautiful when you’re flying over it, looking down. It doesn’t look like that when you’re on the ground looking at it,” Sam Northway said.

Northway said the flight brought back memories of serving in the Navy and Air Force.

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