GREAT FALLS — Bob Nebel and H.T. Murphy, veterans of World War II, got to relive some memories in Great Falls on Friday - with Nebel then soaring high in a "dream flight."
Nebel, now 97 years old, was a gunman for the Navy, and Murphy, 99, was a fighter pilot - different duties, but never too far apart. Fast forward a few decades and the men are inseparable, which is why it only seemed right to have this experience together.
As for how Friday's flight came to be?
Nebel's daughter in-law Denise explained, “My daughter actually heard about it on the radio in Bozeman, and I made a few calls, but they wanted us to come all the way to Bozeman with Bob. Well, Bob is 99 years old, so I just left it at that and kind of forgot about it, but then one day I got a call that they were rerouting the plane to Great Falls, asked them about Bob’s friend H.T. and asked if he could fly.”
And it didn’t take much convincing to get the guys out to see the plane. The war had some horrific memories, but today was full of love, support, and remembering their service and the good times.
Although Murphy opted out of the flight itself, Nebel had enough enjoyment for the both of them.
Murphy was content with both feet on the ground and touring the plane.
“It’s been great to watch their faces light up, even the little grin that Bob had when they landed, It makes it all worth it,” said volunteer pilot Ryan Weir.
And after a morning full of excitement the boys-at-heart headed back for their afternoon nap, living just just doors away from each other.
Visit the Dream Flights website for more information, including this overview:
- Dream Flights is dedicated to honoring military veterans and seniors with the adventure of a lifetime: a flight in a Boeing Stearman biplane. As we make these heroes wishes come true, our Dream Flights inspire them to share their stories. We collect, preserve and share those stories of how they survived through times of great strife to remind us of our shared humanity, our connection to each other and the value of listening. Our Dream Flights close the generation gap and open us up to a clearer understanding of ourselves and our world.