Pacific War Veterans Gather On Long Island Beneath Plane That Ended WWII

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — As sailors descend upon New York City for the 24th annual Fleet Week event, two Long Island veterans were recognized in an emotional tribute in Farmingdale.

WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall: Veterans Got Choked Up

Pacific War veterans gathered Thursday beneath the plane that put an end to World War II as the world’s last operational B-29 arrives at the American Airpower Museum.

Photos: Fleet Week 2011

b 29 001 Pacific War Veterans Gather On Long Island Beneath Plane That Ended WWII

The world's last operational B-29 at American Airpower Museum at Republic Airport, Farmingdale. (credit: Mona Rivera/1010 WINS)

Garden City resident John Stubel, 93, was a B-29 crew chief who led a mobile repair unit which repaired the aircraft, after suffering Japanese fighter damage, and Walt Oelerich of Farmingdale was a Marine who stormed Iwo Jima in 1945.

On Thursday, the two men flew one more time in the historic bomber as veterans from throughout the region looked on during the exposition.

A memorial service was to take place below the B-29 Superfortress, the largest bomber of World War II. Afterwards, the plane was to depart with Stubel and Oelerich on board.

The B-29 and other aircraft will be based at the American Airpower Museum at Republic this Memorial Day weekend from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for public visitation.

1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reports: World War II Veteran Admits To Having Jitters Flying In The Plane

The Superfortress will return to fly in the Bethpage Air Show over Jones Beach Saturday, May 28th and Sunday May 29th.

For more information, click here.

American Airpower Museum
1230 New Highway
Farmingdale, N.Y.

More from Sophia Hall
  • Nicolle Muller

    My Dad Jerry Muller was at the air museum yesterday we have posted pictures and we are very proud of him, he was a ww2 veteran of the 20th air force, 58th wing, 462 bomb group, 768 the squardon, the fifi had him on it in the bombardier area where he was in 1945- he did 15 missions, and was on the B29..

  • Robert E. Holmes

    Hi John Stubel!
    My father, John Grabovetz, 92, of Succasunna, New Jersey, was the propeller
    maintenance crew chief on the B-29’s during WWII, at Tinian.
    My husband and I heard about the airshow with the B-29 at Farmingdale, Long Island, just yesterday. A little too late to get my father, John Grabovetz, to the ceremony! (Plus a little too far for my Dad to travel/eyes are real bad and hearing not that great,etc.) I did tell my Dad about the B-29 being in Farmingdale this weekend and he couldn’t stop talking about WWII!!!!
    I was wondering if you knew my Dad? He was one of the first instructor’s at Seymour Johnson’s Field, Goldsboro, North Carolina, before going to Tinian!
    I’m sure my father would be overjoyed to meet you. And, of course to see the B-29 (very up close/eyesight) !!
    Please let me know if meeting you is possible!
    Thanks for serving our country!!
    Carol (Grabovetz) Holmes
    5 Alcott Way, Succasunna, New Jersey 07876
    (973) 927-6948

    • Helen Stubel Barletta

      Hi Carol,
      So nice to hear your comments & I’m sorry your father didn’t hear about it sooner. It was a wonderful day. My Dad, John Stubel, did his training in Leesburg, Florida and then served as Crew Chief on the B-29’s in Saipan. Their paths probably did not cross but I will ask Dad if he remembers your father’s name. Our fathers are great patriots and it is gratifying to see them being honored. Please thank your father also for serving our country!!
      Helen (Stubel) Barletta

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    50,000 Koren War National Museum supporters can use charity search engines.

  • Rock Rose

    We salute you John Stubel and Walt Oelerich, and all of the brave men and women who fought so we may be free. Living in Long Island City this is an event worth a day trip just to meet these heroes.

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