World War II planes and stunt pilots at Jasper Air Show - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

World War II planes and stunt pilots at Jasper Air Show

JASPER, TX (KTRE) -

The roar of an airplane in a full dive might be unfamiliar to some, but to World War II veteran, Major Gerry French, the sound made him feel right at home.


"World War II, I was flying B-24s in Europe, as a flight commander," said French.

At the jasper air show, French is surrounded by planes from his past, like the B-25 bomber and the Japanese Tora Tora flight. He remembered joining the army at 19.

"The farmers were raising crops for us," said French. "Rosy the riveter was building air planes faster than the Germans could shoot us down. If it hadn't have been for the American people, we'd have  probably lost the war. The war was won by the home front."

French then shared some special advice to America's youth. 

"They should get at least one year, maybe two, of military experience, to teach these young kids discipline, courtesy, respect to the elders, and patriotism," said French.

The next pilot had the same love of flying, but not as much formality. Kyle Franklin started learning to fly when he was eight, growing up in a stunt pilot family.

"In this routine, everything they ever teach you not to do, when you're learning how to fly, is what I go and do," said Franklin.

Franklin referred to the "Drunk Act" as the hardest act out there. 

"As long as people will still come out and watch me fly and do the thing's I'm doing, I will still continue to perform," said Franklin.

Co-creator of the Jasper Air Show, Betty Foster, said she shares Franklin's love for entertaining, especially for the kids.\

"In the morning, at 9 o'clock, on the far most entrance the EAA, chapter 1356, out of Louisville, Louisiana, will actually let the eight to 17 year-old's fly on their first airplane ride," said Foster.

The air show will finish up Sunday, with the performance starting at 1 P.M.

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