Updated: June 12, 2021 10:42 PM
Created: June 12, 2021 06:09 PM
A non-profit organization dedicated to keeping the history of World War II aircrafts and the men and women who flew them alive achieved a major milestone Saturday.
The Lake Superior Squadron restarted a 1945 Stinson OY-2 Sentinel Plane after four years’ worth of work to restore its engine.
The milestone was marked during an open house at the Richard I. Bong Airport in Superior.
“It gives me chills down my spine,” Colonel James Summers, a member of the Lake Superior Squadron said about seeing the plane run again. “It’s such an exciting day.”
Colonel Bill McMahan, who serves as the Squadron’s Commander, said the plane had a very important purpose during World War II.
“The plane would come in, land, pick up a wounded soldier and take them back to be worked on,” McMahan said.
Colonel DeWayne Tomanek, who serves as the Squadron’s Executive Officer, shared the story of meeting a veteran the plane saved many years ago.
“I had a gentleman come in, in a wheelchair and he had a Marine Corp Veteran hat on and I introduced myself and we were chit chatting and he told me that he was in the Korea Conflict, he was wounded and this aircraft evacuated him out,” Tomanek said.
In addition to the excitement of restarting the World War II plane, there were a number of other planes on display at the open house Saturday.
“We had our grandson for the night, so we thought we’d come out,” Renae Palmgren of Superior said. “He likes to look at airplanes.”
Kids were also able to fulfill their dream of flying through airplane rides.
“Its fun,” Spencer Birman of Duluth said. “You get to go in the air.”
Now that the Squadron’s plane is running again, they hope to get it flying by the end of the summer and they are raising money to reach that goal. Those who are interested in donating to the cause can do so here.