FROM A COUPLE OF CORVAIR FORUM CORVAIR ENTHUSIASTS IN PENNSYLVANIA...
Missy MrsVair Rodriguez shared a link on Facebook. "This is for my Dad-in-law".
Please consider a donation...My Dad is a 90 year old WWII veteran. He calls himself a "fake" WWII veteran because he didn't ship out until 1945 and never really saw combat due to being in Italy during the allied occupation where he served in the infantry. Dad did get ambushed at least once coming under machine gun fire, and returning fire. There may have been one or more other such incidents.
Dad was obsessed with flying and airplanes from the time he was a young child, I've added a short video clip of his childhood scrapbook at the bottom of this page.
After the war ended and he was back in the USA Dad got himself transferred to the Army Air Corps where he became an aircraft mechanic working on Warbirds, and later, a flight engineer.
For Dad personally the height of his military career was serving as the flight engineer on a B-25 bomber. Since it was peacetime dad flew in the co-pilot's seat if there was only one pilot on board, the rest of the time he stood or sat on the parachutes behind the pilot and co-pilot. This is where the Jump Seat is located that dad will ride.
In 1949 Dad and his wife had their first child, and dad resigned from the Air Force rather than risk being shipped off to a foreign country and be forced to leave his new family on their own.
Dad's last flight on a B-25 then, was in 1949 but everyone who knows him has heard him talk about that B-25 many, many times. In about 2005 I was able to get dad aboard a mostly disassembled B-25 in a hangar, and it is one of the very few times I saw the man cry. Recently we attended a WWII air show and watching (and hearing) a B-25 roar down the runway and take off again brought tears to his eyes.
Without his knowledge, I've been trying to save up enough money to get dad one more ride on a B-25. This past week Dad was experiencing a lot of pain. Yesterday the pain got very severe pain and had to go to the VA Hospital Emergency Room for the second time in a week where after a very long night we learned it was an 8mm kidney stone which was causing a blockage. I am Dad's caregiver and I transport him to and accompany him in all his doctor visits etc. Due to his stage IV kidney disease they are unable to use the sonic method, so they had to put him under general anasthesia (for the first time in his life!) which is rather risky for a 90 year old man. They were unable to get the stone out, so I believe they are going to put him under again late this week.
This scare has caused me to feel even more urgency in making this ride happen as soon as possible. We can get the ride at the end of this month or beginning of next month but I can not get that much money together that fast so I'm here to ask for help.
I myself had no intention of going for the ride, but while lying in bed trying to fall asleep a few nights ago I realized that Dad will probably absolutely insist on my coming along even if he has to foot the bill himself. Should that happen I will insist on paying him back as quickly as I am able. That said, the first $450 raised here will take care of the cost of the plane ride for Dad, and I have saved up enough money to cover the trip to and from Delaware and related expenses such as meals. If the goal has been reached and you continue to donate they money will most likely go toward paying for my seat to go with dad for the ride. If you don't feel that your money should be going toward that please don't donate after the goal has been reached. I will very happily pay dad back on my own if he insists on my going along.
The recent photos I'm attaching are of Dad (and myself with him in one) at a WWII airshow we attended a month or two ago. Yes he really does look much less than 90 years old and aside from heart failure and kidney disease he is in pretty amazing shape. He even still rides the big roller coasters, and did so just last month!
I'm also going to try to attach some of dad's old pictures here for your enjoyment.
Thank you in advance for your kindness and generosity.
Ramon Rodriguez III
Dad and I with a B-25 at "WWII Days" in Reading PA this year.
Dad in uniform:
Some photos taken by my Dad in the late 40's:
Closer up with Dad and the B-25
https://www.gofundme.com/a-bomber-ride- ... o-wwii-vet