Honor Flight: Two Fayette veterans take trip to D.C. 2013.06.05

Written by David Green.

By BARBARA HOLLSTEIN

honor.boysOne of them was there for the start of the Korean War; the other arrived for the ending. Together they went to Washington, D.C., to visit the memorial created in honor of their service.

Jim Bacon and Earl Ferguson, Korean War veterans from Fayette, joined others from Northwest Ohio May 22 for an Honor Flight trip. 

The Honor Flight program is a non-profit organization that flies veterans to the nation’s capital to see the war monuments and other sites, all free of charge.

Since the flights started in 2005, first priority was given to World War II veterans. Now in its ninth year, the program is including veterans of other wars. Honor Flight's goal is to eventually provide the opportunity for veterans of all wars to visit Washington.

Earl and Jim said they recognized a few of the others vets on the trip, including one that Earl hadn't spoken with since the 1970s. 

honor.jimWhile they had plane delays both coming and going from Toledo to D.C., once they arrived, the trip went well. They do a “terrific job of organizing,” Jim said about the program staff. 

Both men were impressed with the memorials, and the Korean War Monument in particular. Statues of soldiers are sculpted with "lifelike features." 

School groups visiting the war memorials were excited to meet the Honor Flight veterans, and Earl and Jim were asked by several individuals to have a photo taken with them.

The long day wrapped up back at Toledo Express Airport where a welcome party made up of well-wishers and a band met the travelers.

While Earl hadn't flown in a plane since 1985, flying is something that Jim is very familiar with, as his service in the Korean War was with the Air Force.

Jim joined the Air Force at the start of the war, serving from 1951 to 1952, right after he graduated from high school in Fayette. Jim flew reconnoissance flights to study damage following military action.

honor.earlLooking back, Jim said he sometimes wishes he had made a career out of the military.  

While Jim entered the service at the start of the war, Earl came in at the end. He served right after graduation from high school as well, from 1957 to 1958 in the Army. Earl was stationed in the port city of Inchon "where everyone came in off the ship." His job was to make sure a variety of supplies were distributed to soldiers.

Before last month, neither Jim nor Earl had seen the Korean monument dedicated to their service. One more plane load of veterans has now made the trip to visit the monuments constructed in their honor.

  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2017