- Your News
Two more Pike County military veterans have enjoyed the national Honor Flight program that salutes those who have served their country.
James Wombles, 87, who lives between Louisiana and Bowling Green, and Milton Duvall, 90, of Clarksville, were on the Sept. 26 trip to Washington, D.C.
The veterans left from Quincy, Ill. on a bus, flew to the nation’s capitol from St. Louis and returned home, all in one day.
“It was an honor to be included in that group and I enjoyed the World War II Memorial,” Duvall said. “People were respectful all along the way. They were nice to us and complimented us highly.”
Duvall and his wife, Bootsie, used to own the old Best Western motel in Clarksville and Duvall’s Restaurant.
Duvall served in the U.S. Navy Air Corps from 1943 to 1946. He was getting ready to be shipped overseas when World War II ended. He was a pilot in flight training, learning how to fly F4F Grumman Wildcate fighter planes off aircraft carriers.
Duvall was escorted by his son, Duke Duvall, also of Clarksville, who said the whirlwind trip was a thrill for both him and his father.
Wombles was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1945 and then enlisted in the then-new U.S. Air Force when World War II was over, serving until 1949.
He was in the Philippine Islands, Korea and Alaska during his service tenure.
The Honor Flight brought him a lot of pride.
“It was one of the best trips anyone could ever have,” Wombles said. “It was wonderful.
“You’re treated like you should be for being an ex-serviceman.”
Wombles said visiting the World War II Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial with his provided escort were highlights of the trip.
“The changing of the honor guard at Arlington Cemetery was impressive,” he added. “Any veteran or civilian should the monuments.”
When Wombles and Duvall got back to the St. Louis airport, a large crowd had gathered to salute them.
As their bus got to Troy, 230 motorcyclists led them all the way back to Quincy.