WWII Vet Reminisces, Shares Legacy

By Dan Schwartz

KENAI, Alaska (AP) – The two boys climbed out of their cockpits, onto a yellow wing and back onto the tarmac where the World War II era plane sat under a blue sky.

When the brothers grow up, if they chose a life in the sky, 8-year-old Devin Martin would like to fly barrel rolls and backflips; 9-year-old Tyler Treider would just like to fly a plane like the antique AT-6 Harvard warbird they had just climbed down from.

“When I was in the back you could see a lot of the controls,” Tyler said.

Devin said there were gauges and switches and dials.

“The new ones have a couple dials and then a screen,” said Sydney Treider, their 13-year-old brother, standing by the plane’s tail.

The three brothers, of Nikiski, agreed: the older models, the ones from World War II, are much cooler.

“I’ve seen a guy from World War II,” Devin said. “That guy over there you were talking to.”

He pointed just across the edge of the Kenai Municipal Airport tarmac to a building with two garage-style sliding doors. They were open, and about 30 people milled about in the building. Another roughly 80 eat hamburgers and hotdogs, sat at tables listening to the music, or browsed the six airplanes parked on display at the 13th Annual Kenai Peninsula Air Fair.

“Mike,” said Tyler, remembering the man’s name.

“He even shook you hand, didn’t he?” said their grandmother, Jan McDonald, of Nikiski.

“Yeah,” Devin said.

“He even looked pretty good in his uniform,” Jan said.

“Yes,” Devin said. “I’m surprised that uniform even fits him.”

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Posted by on Jul 1st, 2013 and filed under American Street Guide. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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