Mike and Chris got some good weather and bolted out of Georgia, arriving safely at Leesburg Airport, Florida. Here’s Chris’ report:
“Today is Tuesday the 29th of March. 66 years ago today, OY-1 #02766 and the members of VM0-4 were still at sea being transported back to hawaii and would not arrive until the 6th of April. Mike and I had it easy compared to them.
After 2 days in Cordele, GA, the weather finally let us out. About 2pm today, we got enough sky to go south before another severe storm is set to hit Wednesday. It paid off. We arrived in Leesburg, FL, about 4pm, six days after we started. There to greet us was the squadron commander of VM0-4 from WWII, Thomas P. Rozga and his wife Gloria. Tom flew this airplane along with the other pilots of VM0-4 while they served on Iwo Jima. What an honor it is to be here with this man and his bride of 64 years. Tom gave Gloria a quick tour of his old girl before we tucked her away in the hangar to avoid bad weather. We will be spending more time with the girl tommorrow, and Tom hopes to show her off to his friends here in Florida.
We were ordered not to get hotel rooms by the Commander, and of course, Mike and I do as we’re told. We’re treated like kings, in the Hotel de Rozga. After finally putting on the first pair of fresh clothes in 6 days, we were given a tour of the ‘Villages’, the most incredible retirement community you’ve ever seen. The Villages is amazing, but can you guess what’s missing? Yup. No Airport. We had a great dinner in the private club and heard new stories about VM0-4 and the Rozga family.
Everything worked out perfectly. Had we not pushed out two days early from Southern California, there is no way we could have made it here in time. We arrived on the day we planned. Of course you all read the adventures we had to get here. We werent sure what was going to happen after Saturday.
Tommorrow the Vincents will be coming here and Lori Kelley will be coming in to Lakeland to the airshow. We hope to be able to get everyone together in the next few days. Terri Polley, Mike’s better half (see Mike, no lying) will be here tommorrow as well.
A Good day!”