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A Topeka World War II veteran had his final wish granted.
93-year-old Clifford Everitt was a captain in the U.S. Army Air Corps and was a pilot in World War II and the Berlin Airlift.
His final request now – to get back behind the controls.
Our Kansas First News cameras have the exclusive video – as we were the only ones in the cockpit for this flight of a lifetime.
It’s a dream, Clifford Everitt has waited years to make a reality.
The 93-year-old World War II veteran asking for one final request…..to be a pilot just one more time.
In a 4-seater Cessna 182, Clifford….along with a flight instructor, a nurse’s aides…and our cameras…took over the controls for 30 minutes over downtown Topeka, Lake Perry and Lawrence.
“He did really good. It felt like the pilot was doing it, it wasn’t too jerky. He turned it great…it was pretty good,” Presbyterian Manor Nurses’s Aide Talea Hill said. ” It was like he was doing it all his life and hasn’t had a break at all or anything.”
It all came true through a wish he made through the Topeka Presbyterian Manor’s dream team.
It connects to make sure all residents in long term care can end their life with no regrets.
“Just before he got on the plane, he found out he was going to be on it and get to go up….(and he was) surprised. He said it would be too much work and we said no we would work to make it happen,” Presbyterian Manor’s Dream Team Member Sandy Hare said.
Clifford didn’t say much….but did add the instruments in this plane were different than back in World War II..but says he doesn’t forget the feeling of being airborne.
“Proud to be a vet. Wears his hat, everyday…proud. He has a picture of a plane he liked to fly in his room,” Presbyterian Manor’s Dream Team Member Bonnie Snowden said.
A final dream come true….for a hero who gave this country so much.
The dream team says it took a month to make Clifford’s wish a reality.
Once he made the request – they found a local pilot who said he could take Clifford up in the skies.
The dream team started about 2 months ago and says its granted wishes ranging from today’s flight, to a shopping trip….to even someone who simply just wanted macaroni and cheese.