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Veterans take flight Saturday in special ride

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Ahead of Monday's Veteran's Day holiday, some local veterans were honored with a trip back in time.

It's technically a Douglas C-47 Skytrain, but for dozens of veterans at the Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport, it's a time machine.

"We had a drop in France. That's the last time I've had a ride," said Dan Fuller with the 101st Airborne out of Europe.

"It means so much that it's painted the way it was for D-Day," said Gerald Parker a former pilot with the Army Air Corps.

Parker flew this exact plane nearly 60 years ago.

"We flew into the Invasion of Sicily in Italy, then we moved to England for the Invasion of France. D-Day. We dropped paratroopers at all those locations," he said.

Fuller jumped out of many planes like the C-47 in his time with the 101st Airborne.

"It brings back memories of what people did then and what they've done since," he said.

That's what the organizers at the National Airline History Museum had in mind when they put together the early Veteran's Day celebration.

"We've had some great WWII veterans on here, and it's really such a neat, emotional experience to see the wives, and the sons and the daughters go on board the airplane with them and look out that window and wonder, ‘what was it like to have 300 other airplanes out there, guns going, fighters coming in, flak going off' and these guys were rock solid, got the job done and served our country," said John Roper, the vice president of operations with the museum.

This is the second time the refurbished C-47 has flown around Kansas City. Roper said it's a way to show thanks and appreciation for the sacrifices of the greatest generation.

"Our goal is to get as many veterans as we can, down here, thank them for their service, take them for a ride around Kansas City in this combat proven C-47," Roper said.

He said the Sky King, as it's named, will be back next year to thank even more service men and women.

Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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