ATLANTA - A former World War II pilot got the chance to celebrate his 95th birthday by flying in a plane similar to one he used 75 years ago.
1st Lieutenant Richard “Dick” Bailey got to fly in a a PT-17 Stearman biplane trainer on Monday. The ride was donated by Mike Turner, a local Delta pilot.
Bailey flew in 65 combat missions in the B-26 Marauder in WWII, including three missions on D-Day. He currently lives in Kennesaw with his son Don, who is a retired Marine pilot.
The celebration was arranged by the 8th Air Force Historical Society Georgia Chapter and Stephen Hoofnagle, a Colonel in the Commemorative Air Force Dixie Wing.
Bailey grew up in Binghamton, NY. In WWII, Bailey's unit flew their B-26’s from the US to England via the “southern route” and he flew the first part of his combat tour from a base in England.
After the war, Bailey obtained his mechanical engineering degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
and worked for several large US corporations until he retired in 1996 at age 73.