Lou W., 90, of Denver, CO is a strong-willed, patriotic older adult who joined the Army Air Corps at age 17. Memories from his 28 year-long service in the Army are a source of excitement and happiness for Lou, who continues to tell stories to his grandchildren about his days as a B-24 gunner. His Wish of a Lifetime was to relive his life’s best memories by taking flight in a B-24 once again.
Lou enlisted in the Army Air Corps cadet program in 1942 and became a B-24 ball turret gunner. Over his 28 years in the service, through WWII and the Korean War, Lou spent most of his time in England and Japan. After the Korean War, Lou felt lucky to be able to return to the United States for the birth of his first daughter. He is father to three daughters and two sons. Lou had reached a Senior Master Sergeant ranking in the Air Force before being honorably discharged in 1970.
After the Army Air Corps, Lou worked for the state of Wisconsin until his early retirement at age 62. He then moved to Colorado, where he resides today, to be closer to his family. Lou is an amazing father and has dedicated a significant amount of time to volunteering for his church over the years. He has faced significant obstacles over the last few years, as he suffered from three strokes and is currently living with Alzheimer’s. Still today, Lou thinks of his time in the service on a regular basis, and it’s the time in his life that he’s most proud of. To be able to fly in a B-24 once again was a dream come true for Lou.
Thanks to Wish of a Lifetime, Brookdale, and The Collings Foundation, Lou’s Wish became a reality on July 9th, 2015. Lou, his wife, his granddaughter and his son-in-law took flight at Centennial Airport in the world’s only fully restored B-24 Liberator. This unbelievable experience was made possible by the Collings Foundation, a nonprofit whose purpose is to organize and support “living history” events throughout the US. Lou’s wife said that after flying in the B-24, she’ll never see her husband the same way for the rest of their lives.