Pelham groups welcome home Honor Flight veterans

Published 2:45 pm Thursday, October 29, 2009

Members of the Cahaba Valley Elks Lodge and the Pelham Honor Guard welcomed home 68 World War II veterans Thursday as part of an Honor Flight Birmingham trip.

Honor Flight Birmingham is an organization that takes WWII veterans to see the WWII memorial in Washington, D.C., at no cost.

Thursday’s flight left Birmingham at 7:30 a.m. and returned at 7:30 p.m. to a crowd of hundreds who had gathered to welcome the veterans home.

Linda Dennis of the Cahaba Valley Elks was among those who welcomed the veterans back, as the members gave each veteran an American flag once they arrived back in Birmingham.

“We support anything that is pro-American. We’re very patriotic, we believe in Americanism, respect for America and love for America,” Dennis said. “The veterans, especially the older ones, just don’t get the respect they deserve, especially for what they gave up.”

Honor Flight Birmingham Co-director Pam Nichols said the warm welcome is just perfect ending for a much-deserved day for the veterans.

“They all say to me, ‘we can’t believe people care anymore,'” Nichols said. “They’re just overwhelmed to get that kind of greeting.”

In addition to seeing the WWII monument Thursday, the veterans also got to see Arlington and were visited by former U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Bob Doyle, Alabama U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions and Alabama U.S. Reps. Spencer Bachus and Robert Aderholt.

“This means a great deal to them,” Nichols said. “They made a tremendous sacrifice.”

Those who traveled with the Honor Flight Thursday are:

Brooks G. Collins, Air Force, Oxford

Edwin M. Mead, Navy, Hueytown

Mafus Bird, Navy, Fultondale

Albert L. Wise, Navy, Fayette

Robert Sanders, Army, Vestavia Hills

Mac D. Heslop, Navy, Hoover

Samuel R. Davidson, Marines, Bessemer

Edward E. Harrison, Army, Lincoln

Robert Earl Lee, Army, Gardendale

Anthony S. D’Angelo, Army, Gate City

Levi John Sirman Jr., Navy, Moody

Albert (Ken) K. Bradford, Army, Hueytown

Marvin Edward McKee, Army, Pinson

Helen Sullenger Kansa, Army, Cullman

Seabron W. Childers, Air Corps, Cragford

Claude R. Isbell, Army, Irondale

William L. Ousley, Navy, Homewood

James Edwin Thompson, Army, Jasper

Everett C. Hammons, Navy, Pelham

William Amos Gable, Army, Trussville

William R. Wetzel, Army, Roebuck

Robert E. Williams, Navy, Irondale

Robert L. Marcus, Navy, Crestline

Lelias G. Pair, Army, Anniston

Ernest (Ernie) R. Young, Navy, Bessemer

Raymond D. Foy, Army, Trussville

Charles Sain, Army, Hoover

Grady (Pip) Burch, Army, Hoover

Albert J. Willingham Jr., Army Air Cor, Mtn. Brook

G.L. Mulkey, Marines, Pelham

John R. Wingard, Navy, Huffman

Walter D. Hale, Army Air Cor, Ashville

Clyde C. Hall, Air Force, Chalkville

Judge Gordon Thompson, Navy, Alabaster

James R. Weed, Air Force, Vestavia

George N. Boutwell, Marine Corp, Pell City

Delmar Cole Scivley Jr., Marine Corp, Hoover

Truman C. McVea, Army, Woodstock

William Watts Morgan, Air Force, Shelby County

Floyd R. Lisby, Navy, Roebuck

James E. Marsh Jr., Army, Pinson

Howard M. Williams Jr., Navy, Trussville

James L. Robertson Jr., Army Aircorp, Vestavia

Harold B. Walton, Army Corp of Engineering, Leeds

James W. Large, Air Force, Hoover

Robert W. Bellows, Air Force, Hoover

Daniel H. Frederick, Army, West Blocton

Herald Homer McNeff, Navy, Jemison

Arlin Hamilton Smith, Army, Cullman

William Holcomb Bacon, Army Air Corps, The Oaks

Ralph Tribble Jr., Air Force, Leeds

Lonnie M. Horne, Navy, Alabaster

Ernest J. Hamic, Army, Birmingham

John Hard, Air Force, Shelby County

Dewey Mulkin, Air Force, Hoover

William C. Hassell, Marines, Birmingham

Robert E. Cox, Navy Reserve, Hoover

William O. Meeks, Navy, Alabaster

William Penn, Army Air Corp, Cropwell

John L. Harrison, Navy, Pinson

Paul E. Davis, Army, Hoover

Phillip Gadilhe, Marine, Roebuck

Edward J. Webb, Navy, Hoover

Cecil C. Ammons, Bessemer

Oliver H. Atchison, Army Air Corp, Homewood

Jean K. Kurtts, Navy, Hoover

Jack H. Becker, Navy, Birmingham

Charles W. Sherrer, Army Air Corp, Gardendale