Worth the Wait

This Thursday, former B-17 pilot Harold Rochette, 89, will set foot inside a Flying Fortress again—more than 60 years since his last bombing mission—and ride as an honored passenger in a flight from Stewart International Airport, in Newburgh, N.Y., to Waterbury-Oxford Airport, in Oxford, Conn. The Record-Journal of Meriden, Conn., reported Sept. 1 that the flight is sponsored by the Massachusetts-based, non-profit Collings Foundation that restores World War II-era aircraft and displays and flies them at airfields across the country. A B-24, B-25, and P-51 will accompany the B-17 for the heritage flight. Two other World War II veterans will join Rochette: Frank Petrillo, 90, a former B-17 bombardier from Waterbury, and Walter Hushak, 85, a former B-24 pilot from Southington, Conn., who organizes Connecticut events for the foundation. “I never thought 60 years later that I’d have a chance to fly in one of these aircraft again,” said Hushak.