MATHER — Next week marks the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy, a pivotal battle in World War II which changed the course of the war.
As many veterans who served in that conflict are passing away with age, families are looking for new ways to relive their ancestor’s glory.
This weekend at Mather Field, several WWII era aircraft will be on display for tours and for flights.
Nancy Boemer, who was dressed head to toe in her father’s flight uniform, wanted to see the plane he served in the Pacific Theater, The Mitchell B25.
She bought a ride at Mather as part of the Wings of Freedom Tour, to get an idea of how her father and his crew flew, moved around in the plane and carried out their missions.
She also brought along mementos from his war experience: photographs of bombing runs, leaflets dropped to warn civilians of an impending bombing attack and his mission briefs.
For Ben Baba, seeing the planes is a walk down memory lane.
He was too young to serve in WWII; in fact, at the time his family was put in a Japanese American internment camp in Colorado.
A few years later, once he was 18, Ben joined the Air Force himself during the Korean War.
During that war, he was stationed here at Mather as a mechanic.
“I used to do some work on this,” Baba said referring to an aircraft.
The flight reminded Boemer of all her dad sacrificed.
He passed away just last year, part of a growing number of the greatest generation who are now reaching their hundreds.
But she doesn’t think her father would want to fly again even if you were still around.
The three bombers and two fighter aircraft will be on display at Mather through Sunday.
Exploring the aircrafts on the ground is just $15 for adults and $5 for kids.