American Airlines Flew D-Day Veterans To France For 75th Memorial

Alan Scaia
June 06, 2019 - 8:54 am
American military cemetery near Omaha Beach, Normandy

Bertl123/GettyImages

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FORT WORTH (1080 KRLD) - A non-profit worked with American Airlines to fly World War II veterans to France for the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

The group, Let Freedom Ring, and American flew seven veterans from DFW and Miami to France.

Related: President Trump, French President Macron Commemorate 75th Anniversary of D-Day

"Obviously, I think about it every day," says Jim Frolking, who was flying over the English Channel on DDay. "I patrolled the sea lanes on DDay, my first mission as a young fighter pilot."

Frolking, now 95 and living in Ohio, was just 20-years-old. He was shot down over the Netherlands a few months later. He says Dutch farmers hid him from the Germans.

"It was a very important operation. It's sad that we have to create wars to do things like this," Frolking says. "All the wonderful men who didn't return. That's what you think about."

Frolking has returned to Normandy several times. He says the most difficult part of this trip will be stopping at Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial.

"It's nice to be back, but it'll be very heart-rending when I get to that cemetery," Frolking says. "Just thinking about it. All those graves' crosses face the United States. That's the way it was designed."

The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial holds more than 9,000 people.

Frolking had not met the other six who made the trip, but he says they got to know each other quickly when they came together for a luncheon and made the trip to France.

"We talked about our experiences and compared notes, what you did, and what I did," he says. "It wasn't a lot about that. Just being together and remembering those times."

American Airlines hosted a luncheon for the veterans and their families before the flights. The airline then provided the flight for them and a film crew making a documentary.

They will return next Wednesday.