95-Year-Old Kenyon Woman Flies in Plane Flown by Late Husband in World War II
95-year-old Jean Hiner is from Kenyon, MN. Her late husband, Jim, was a pilot in World War II. Thanks to Jean's son Kirk, she was able to take a flight of a lifetime in the same kind of place Jim flew in World War II.
Jim "flew 25 missions in Europe" according to WCCO on a PT-19 trainer plane. After the war, Jim's friend decided to buy a PT-19 to restore. Jim helped out and so did Jean. The restoration ended up working and they were able to fly! The first flight of their restored plane was September 20th, 1990. But, sadly, Jean never got a chance to fly in that plane.
Jim passed away a few years ago on September 21st, 2017. Then a year later to the date of Jim passing away, Kirk got a phone call that the PT-19 that his dad and mom had helped restore had been damaged in a tornado. It appears that the plane was at the Faribault airport when the massive tornado whipped through the area and destroyed the Faribault airport. The caller wanted to know if Kirk wanted the plane to try and restore it again. Well, of course he said yes!
So after some time and elbow grease, Kirk was able to get the PT-19 back into working condition and was able to take his mom on that flight she had hoped for decades ago. And Jean told WCCO that it definitely won't be her last flight on that plane.