World War II veterans relive aviation experience

World War II veterans relive aviation experience

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - World War II veterans left American cities and farms to serve their country; many just teenagers when they answered the call to arms.

On Wednesday, vets from South Mississippi took a step back in time at the Wings of Freedom vintage war planes exhibit in Gulfport.

"One mission at a time, hoping you got back," said Richard Nesossis of Biloxi.

Nesossis - who flew the B-24 bomber during dozens of missions in the Pacific - says the exhibit rekindled those memories. The Wings of Freedom gave him, and other veterans, the opportunity to get one more look at the aircraft they spent so much time inside.

Now in his mid-90's, Nesossis remains modest about his wartime service.

"Well, it really wasn't anything exciting about it. We knew we had to go and we were trained; well-trained to survive," he said.

Howard Bennett of Columbia also flew aboard the B-24. He was a teenage farm boy when he got the call from Uncle Sam.

"They give you an aptitude test, and I made good enough on there that they told me I could go to any branch of service I wanted to," said Bennett, who chose the Air Force.

After joining, he soon found himself as a nose gunner aboard a B-24, doing bombing missions over Germany.

"I thought I'd get to fly one of them. I didn't get to fly it, but flew in it. Thirty missions and a lot of training and hours. I put in 345 combat hours flying time," added Bennett.

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