MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

November 12, 2012

WWII veteran praises his honor flight

‘I’m glad we did it,’ he says of trip to Washington

— 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 oklahomahonorflights.org.

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.”

Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926 or wburton@muskogeephoenix.com.

Learn more

To learn more about Oklahoma Honor Flights, write to Oklahoma Honor Flights, PO Box 10492, Midwest City OK 73140; call (405) 259-9000 or go online to www.oklahomahonorflights.org.

1
Text Only
Local News
AP Video
Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways
Poll

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

Yes
No
     View Results
Featured Ads
Parade
Magazine

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.
Stocks