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Douglas Sherwood Hersey got one heck of a surprise for his birthday on Monday, March 31, when the World War II veteran got to take a ride on the B-17G bomber “Sentimental Journey.”Douglas Sherwood Hersey holds a photo of himself with his flight crew that he toured with from 1943 to 1946 as he stands with his family next to “Sentimental Journey,” a B-17G on Monday, March 31, at Airport Mesa. Hersey, a former waist gunner aboard a B-17 in World War II, took a surprise flight paid for by a family friend, David Davidson.

Hersey had seen in the Sedona Red Rock News that the bomber was going to be visiting Sedona Airport, and figured he could take his daughter, Ellen Martinez, out to at least see the plane in person.

“I don’t know how they planned it, but about a month or so ago I got asked if I wanted to come up,” Hersey said. “Then I saw in the paper that the B-17 was going to stop by, and I thought this would be wonderful, because I could show Ellen — if they let me in the aircraft — I could show where my position was.

For the full story, see the Wednesday, April 2, edition of the Sedona Red Rock News.


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  • Bobby Reed

    My wife and I were, conveniently, visiting Sedona this month when we saw that the B-17 was coming in. As an Air Force vet, I just had to be there. We saw the banner honoring TSgt Hersey. We were so touched by the mere presence of a WWII vet, and his gathered family, that we would have paid for his ride. He helped keep America free for us, and our generation. Thanks!

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