WESTERLY, R.I. – A lot of folks have a bucket list; a list of things you want to do in your lifetime. For one New England veteran, that list included flying in a World War II bomber just one more time.
He got the chance Monday with four generations of his family looking on.
Robert Hall is a veteran, originally from Riverside, Rhode Island. He's turning 90 next month, and his family decided this Labor Day to help him check an item off his bucket list at Westerly State Airport.
Hall has an impressive resume: serving in two wars, holding multiple elected and appointed offices, and he was even the Deputy Commissioner of Veterans Affairs in Massachusetts.
In WWII, he loaded bombers on an aircraft carrier. Today, he flew in a bomber with four generations of his family watching.
Hall’s daughter, Karen Hasenfus, says, “We did a lot of research and planning, and finally we were able to find this place which is amazing.”
His family says it meant so much to them to help him check this off his bucket list.
Hasenfus, fighting back tears, says, “Just making one of his special dreams come true and being able to share it with him has been really special.”
Hall called it a memorable experience, “I was surprised by it, obviously, very surprised. They even gave me a white scarf. Made me look like an aviator.”
That scarf already meant a lot to the family, and now it means even more.
Hall’s daughter, Chris Frado, says, “My mom has passed away. I am wearing her scarf, which I gave to my dad right before he got in the plane and asked him to wear. It now has aviation grease on it, which is awesome.”
Hall's family worked with the Heritage Flight Foundation to make this happen.
Heritage Flight Foundation Chief Pilot and Vice President Mark Simmons says, “When we get to fly with a piece of history with our piece of history, it's very emotional.”
Hall is already looking forward to his next big milestone.
Hall says, “They're going to have to top it for my 100th birthday. This is only for my 90th birthday that they did this.”