, Muskogee, OK

Fort Gibson

November 14, 2012

WWII veteran takes ‘honor flight’

By Wendy Burton

Times Editor

A 91-year-old veteran recently experienced being formally honored for the first time for his military service.

Clarence Huggins is a World War II veteran who served in the 13th Army Air Corps — a branch of service now called the Air Force.

Huggins spent 3 1/2 years just after Pearl Harbor serving as a supply staff sergeant, mostly in New Guinea.

He can tell stories about Japanese planes crashing on the beach near his unit, stripping crippled planes for parts to get American planes back in the air and much more.

Huggins recently went on a trip that celebrated his service — something he said he’s never experienced before. “It was all special — the banquet and awards ceremony especially,” Huggins said about the recent Oklahoma Honor Flights trip he took to Washington, D.C.

Oklahoma Honor Flights is an organization which transports Oklahoma veterans to Washington, D.C., to visit those memorials dedicated to honor their services and sacrifice, according to

Huggins said it’s a whirlwind, one-day trip, but worth it.

“That was a fabulous thing. I wouldn’t take anything for it,” he said. “It just wore us out, but I’m glad we did it.”

Huggins’ son, Jim Huggins, went on the trip with his father. Jim said the trip was a once-in-a-lifetime experience he hopes all Oklahoma WWII veterans will take advantage of.

“One of the neatest things was the hero’s welcome people everywhere gave them,” Jim said. “People everywhere, the airport, all over Washington, everywhere — just clapping and cheering.”

There was a banquet at Rose State College the night before the trip, which Clarence was honored deeply by, he said.

There was a chance for his father to stand in front of the WWII memorial in D.C. — meaningful in so many ways, Jim said.

“All over Washington we were escorted by law enforcement, and people just moved over, got out of the way, clapped and cheered,” Jim said. “It’s a good deal, and these guys need to go on this trip.”

Text Only
Fort Gibson
AP Video
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament

Should a federal judge have the power to strike down Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage?

     View Results
Featured Ads

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.