56ºF

103-year-old veteran flies with nonprofit Ageless Aviation

Ageless Aviation participates in Big Give SA

SAN ANTONIO – The skies were clear Tuesday as 103-year-old World War II veteran Col. Gerhard Schriever took a ride in the plane he flew in the war, thanks to the nonprofit Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation.

Tuesday's flight was Schriever's third with the organization, which gives veterans the opportunity to fly in a 1940s Boeing Stearman biplane.

"It’s natural. It feels good, like (it did when) I started," said Schriever, who was a test pilot in the Air Force.

In 1928, he piloted a Stearman for the first time out of Stinson Airport.

“Oh boy, I’ll tell you. I’ve always loved flying, and I was lucky to have a career that did a lot of flying," Schriever said. Lt. Col. Oliver Cole, 94, who served in WWII, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

Pilot Mike Sommars helped with Tuesday's flight. He is one of the organization's volunteer pilots who travel the country to give veterans rides in the Stearman biplane.

Also taking part in Tuesday's flights were WWII prisoner of war Lt. Col. Russ Reed, 92; WWII veteran Maj. James Smith, 95; and veteran Lt. Col. Oliver Cole, 94, who served in WWII, Korea and Vietnam

Ageless Aviation, which operates on donations and sponsorships, took part in Tuesday's Big Give SA, a 24-hour period of giving to nonprofits in South Texas.

The organization hopes to raise money to purchase a vintage PT-17 Stearman to be based permanently in San Antonio.

Click here for more information on the Big Give SA.