Six Saratoga County veterans of World War II, one of whom survived the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, will be flown to Washington today to see the World War II National Memorial.
They’ll be joining other veterans from across the Capital Region on an early morning Southwest Airlines flight out of Albany, sponsored by Leatherstocking Honor Flight.
Leatherstocking is part of the national Honor Flight Network, supported by veterans’ organizations and private donations, with the goal of getting every remaining World War II veteran to the memorial on the National Mall before they die. Since it was started in 2005, the Honor Flight Network estimates more than 81,000 veterans have been given free flights to Washington.
It’s a moving experience for the aging members of the Greatest Generation, more than 60 years after they were caught up in the worldwide conflict.
“The ones I’ve been to, there’s hardly a dry eye at the end of the day. There’s a lot of camaraderie,” said Andrew Davis, Saratoga County’s director of services.
Davis, a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, has served as an Honor Flight escort in the past, as has his deputy, Frank McClement.
The county agency gets local vets onto Honor Flights about twice a year. “When a World War II veteran comes into our office we ask if they’ve ever been to the memorial and if not, we recommend them,” Davis said.
Those going on today’s flight:
• Frank Gimmelli of Waterford, who served in the Coast Guard in the Atlantic on the destroyer escort USS Mosley.
• Chris Andreadakis of Saratoga Springs, part of the Army field artillery during the invasion of Normandy, the Battle of the Bulge and the land campaign through Belgium into Germany.
• Robert Griffin of Ballston Spa, who served aboard the USS Saranac, a fleet oiler in the Pacific Theater.
• George Morby of Ballston Lake, who was a cook and 20-mm gunner in the Navy.
• Harold Bennett of Saratoga Springs, who was a Navy lieutenant, serving as a navigation and gunnery officer in the Pacific.
• Carleton “Carl” Strunk of Burnt Hills, an electrician’s mate aboard the battleship USS Maryland at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. The Maryland was damaged but not sunk and went on to play a fighting role against the Japanese.
Malta Farmers Market
A new farmers market will open Tuesday at the Malta Community Center on Bayberry Drive.
The market, being run by the Saratoga Farmers’ Market Association, will run every Tuesday from 3 to 6 p.m. Initially there will be about 20 vendors.
“The growth in Malta over the past several years, coupled with the increased desire by consumers to buy fresh, straight-from-the-farm products, were key factors in deciding to add this market location,” said Jeffrey Bowers, president of the Saratoga Farmers’ Market.
Fruits, vegetables, baked goods, meats, egg, cheese, yogurt, flowers, local wine and other products will be offered, a spokeswoman said.