LEBANON, Ore. – The memories of WWII stay strong in the mind of 88-year-old war vet Ellis Hallman.
He served in the Army Air Corps as a fighter plane crew chief on the island of Ie Shima, located next to Okinawa.
“I always had (the plane) ready to go and it never failed to make a flight, when it was scheduled.” Hallman said.
Hallman remembers his third night at Ie Shima when a Japanese plane flew under the radar. He had his foxhole ready, but not everyone did and after the raid was over.
“Everything was as quiet as could be … and pretty soon you could hear somebody scratching on the ground -- digging their foxhole a little deeper.” Hallman said.
Recently Hallman received word that he would be joining 16 other Oregon vets on a trip to Washington DC to visit the National WWII Memorial. The trip is a part of the Honor Flight Network’s program that sends veterans to visit memorials of their respective wars.
He visited Washington DC decades ago... but Hallman has never been on a trip like this.
“It's a real honor to be able to participate in this thing.” said Hallman.
Hallman will see the WWII memorial on Sunday. The Honor Flight Network also offers free flights for vets of later wars to see memorials if they are terminally ill.