560th FTS honors Vietnam POWs at Freedom Flyer Reunion (Richard Bates, Gregg Hanson)

The 560th Flying Training Squadron honored three former Vietnam veterans during the 47th Annual Freedom Flyer Reunion at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph March 25-26.

The annual reunion allows Air Force combat pilots who were shot down in the Vietnam War, many suffering long periods in captivity as prisoners of war, to take one last flight.

“An Air Force pilot’s final flight is always a big deal,” said Maj. Mark Jordy, the 560th FTS’ Freedom Flyer Reunion director. “It’s also a big deal to have these pilots, who have been out of the Air Force a long time, back in the air one more time. It’s an honor to be able to give them back some of the joy of flight.”

Held every year since 1973, with the exception of 2020, the Freedom Flyer Reunion at JBSA-Randolph honors repatriated Vietnam War pilots. The event also includes a Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Symposium and a wreath-laying ceremony.

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