CNN

11-year-old shows his respect for veterans who flew for the allies in WWII

Aug 21, 2020, 10:48 AM

Photo courtesy of Getty Images. WWII bomber. B-25 Mitchell....

Photo courtesy of Getty Images. WWII bomber. B-25 Mitchell.

 OAHU, HI (KITV) — Despite the pandemic, plans are still underway to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War Two on September 2.

A program will take place on the USS Missouri where World War II-era planes will fly over O’ahu on August 29, 30th, and September 2.

On Wednesday KITV4’s Rick Quan had a chance to meet a sixth-grader who has a great appreciation for those who served.

He’s just 11-years-old, but Zach Bittner has a deep respect for those veterans who flew and fought for the allies in World War II.

“Our family has a long tradition of aviators in World War II history because my great-grandpa used to fly P40s from the U.S. to Canada to fight in the war,” Bittner said. “My mom told me the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum had a page on the website and I searched up their website and found they had all these World War II videos so I watched all the videos and they had a lot of cool videos about the history and the planes and the battles and I was fascinated about the history.”

Bittner’s dad is a Navy officer at Pearl Harbor and told him several vintage planes like the PBY Catalina pictured here had arrived for the 75th commemoration of WWII. His family got a chance to watch one of those planes take off earlier this week, but Bittner wanted to see one up close.

Thanks to the 75th commemoration committee, he got to go inside a PBY, one of the most versatile and important planes of WWII.

“It’s really cool, this is truly a once in a lifetime experience, not many people get to do this,” Bittner said.

The plane’s owner is Coy Pfaff of Eugene, Oregon.

“After my time in the Marine Corps, I was driving around the world and was talking to my grandfather about the vintage aircraft and he said he always wanted a PBY. So I found this one for him in France and we made a deal and flew it back over to Oregon last year,” Pfaff said.

When the Japanese attacked Hawai’i on December 7, 1941, thirty of these planes were destroyed.

“This being a seaplane and especially here with Ford Island and Kaneohe Bay played a huge part in 1941 and after. So this aircraft actually right now is painted like BP14 which was one of the squadrons up at Kaneohe Bay after the attack,” Pfaff said.

During the war, this PBY patrolled the North Atlantic and in 1944 sank a German U-boat with a depth bomb.

When asked why Bittner has so much respect for veterans from WWII he answers, “Because they went through so much back then and they lost so many of their friends and today we’re free because of them, we would all probably be speaking German if it wasn’t for them. So yeah, they just sacrificed for us to be living here today so we have to honor and respect them because they died for us,” Bittner said.

As you might expect, Bittner wants to be an Air Force pilot one day, but for now, he’s happy just learning about those who went before him.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

CNN

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) heads to the floor of the Senate for a vote on Capito...

Clare Foran, Morgan Rimmer and Ted Barrett, CNN

Mitch McConnell to step down from GOP leadership position in the Senate

Mitch McConnell will step down as GOP leader in November, the Kentucky Republican announced on the Senate floor Wednesday.

3 days ago

Soldiers carry the coffin of Ukrainian poet and serviceman Maksym Kryvtsov who was killed in action...

Stephanie Halasz and Ivana Kottasová, CNN

Zelensky warns ‘millions will be killed’ without US aid to Kyiv, as Ukrainian troop deaths reach at least 31,000

“Millions” could die in Ukraine’s war with Russia if US lawmakers don’t approve President Joe Biden’s $60 billion aid request.

6 days ago

Kathy Brandel and her husband of 27 years, Ralph Hendry...

Sharif Paget, Chris Boyette and Polo Sandoval, CNN

Family of Americans believed dead after yacht allegedly hijacked in Grenada describe scene of violence

The family of two Americans who may have been killed in an alleged yacht high jacking in Granada hope the couple might be found alive.

6 days ago

Police tape drapes the crime scene on a trail behind Lake Herrick at the University of Georgia in A...

Ashley R. Williams, Raja Razek, Priscilla Alvarez, Isabel Rosales and Jaide Timm-Garcia, CNN

Questions remain in investigation of death of Augusta University student found on UGA campus

As the investigation continues into the death of an Augusta University student, officials confirmed the immigration status of a suspect.

6 days ago

Kenneth Mitchell, here in 2018, has died....

Megan Thomas, CNN

Kenneth Mitchell, ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Marvel’ actor, dead at 49

A native of Canada, Mitchell acquired more than 50 film and television credits over the course of his acting career. He was diagnosed with ALS in 2019.

7 days ago

Charles E. Escalera, 21...

Michelle Watson and Maria Sole Campinoti, CNN

Kentucky man arrested in connection with death of Campbellsville University student

A man has been arrested in connection with the death of a student at Campbellsville University in Kentucky.

7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

11-year-old shows his respect for veterans who flew for the allies in WWII