Pilot and plane to be featured in air show - | WBTV Charlotte

Pilot and plane to be featured in air show

MONROE, NC (WBTV) -Pride comes for volunteers at the Monroe airport by keeping Tinker belle humming, but reverence is offered whenever  a former World War II pilot arrives on the flight line.
Inching up the steel steps, and down a hollow hallway opens a sentimental flood gate of flashbacks for Jeb Stuart.
The Greenwood, South Carolina resident was first in the cockpit of a similar C-46 back in 1942.
"Things look familiar. There's some modifications. They've changed some things, " Stewart remembers. "This is one of the best seats they've ever put in an airplane."
Tinker belle, and Stewart a former army air corp captain are getting top billing for this weekend's Warriors and War birds fly in at the Monroe Airport.
Stewart had the job of delivering American troops to foreign bases, and one run to Asia put him in contact with a group of unsung servicemen.
"It was my turn it was Cairo and it was west bound, went out to see the plane and my load was a bunch of Americans of Negro dissent that were engineers off the Ledo road,"Stewart said.
 
Those soldiers built critical supply routes linking the Chinese Burma Indian theater.
While Tinker belle was being prepped for this weekend's activities, Stewart managed to soar in something a little smaller.
 
At age 91,He still holds a pilot's license, and was tempted to touch the controls inside this Cessna. He didn't.
Stewart chose to ride shotgun with former Matthews mayor Lee Myers.
"To think about someone at his age, with his experience at what he gave back to this country 70 years ago is difficult for me, and is one of those moments I'll never ever forget."
Holding pictures of his past offer a grateful flashback, and autographing modern day images is way of thanking his admirers.
Life's sunset years is giving Jeb Stewart rock star moments that he sums up in one simple word.
"It's unbelievable"

The breakfast event at the Monroe Airport runs on Saturday"  from 8:00 am until 10:30 am. The Experimental Aircraft Association chapter 309 is providing the pancake breakfast for only $5 per person.

Copyright 2012 WBTV. All rights reserved.

 

 

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