After flying American bombers in three wars, Sam Northway got his wish to fly one more time. At 91, the U.S. Veteran was not sure he would have the chance to fly again due to his health.
Northway took a trip around the open skies in a World War II Army biplane. He is currently a resident with Crossroads Hospice and Palliative Care. The staff thought it would be nice to get him back in the cockpit for one last flight as part of their “gift for a day” thanks to the Commemorative Air Force.
According to his daughter, Judy Northway, her father has not been in the greatest health. “It means the world. The last year for him hasn’t been real great health wise. So for him to be able to do this is such a treat for him, and he deserves it greatly.”
Northway has loved airplanes since he was a young boy. He joined the Navy before World War II and became a pilot and seaman. He told his local Fox affiliate that he had love letters from his “sweetie” during his time in the Navy, but they now rest at the bottom of Pearl Harbor. Years later, he was ready to offer his help in Korea and Vietnam. He joined the Air Force and flew missions in both wars.
Sam was quite excited for his final flight. When a nurse asked if he was ready, he replied, “Oh yes!” He gave the same response to the volunteer pilot with him when asked if it brought back memories. After a half hour of gliding through the perfect Kansas sky, Sam became emotional and tears formed in his eyes when he got back on land. He told Fox 4, “The earth looks beautiful when you’re flying over it, looking down. It doesn’t look like that when you’re on the ground looking at it.”