Brookfield Purple Heart Recipient Art Grisa and fellow Airmen trying to get to New Orleans for WWII Honors

NOW: Brookfield Purple Heart Recipient Art Grisa and fellow Airmen trying to get to New Orleans for WWII Honors

The 8th Air Force Historical Society-State of Wisconsin is sending 12 individuals to the national 8th Air Force Historical Society Reunion where members of the "Mighty Eighth" will be honored at the National WWII Museum, September 27-October 1, 2017 in New Orleans.

More than 600 will be in attendance from across the nation.

One of the honorees is Staff Sgt. Art Grisa of Brookfield who recalled exclusively for CBS 58 News the mission that defined his career.

"They blew a hole in the iron plate that was protecting me," he recalled. "The shrapnel hit my eye, arm and legs."

But he still completed his mission as part  of the 8th Army Air Corps, 457th Bomb Groupd, First Divisions, stationed at Galtton Air Base in England. 

The National 8th Air Force Reunion in New Orleans will honor the Airmen and ground crews that put the “Mighty Eighth” in the air over occupied Europe in WWII. The now dwindling bomb groups and fighter groups will come together during this five day event, veterans will visit and be honored at the WWII Museum in New Orleans, have meals together, and reminisce together.

This year we will include Korean War veterans as well as WWII vets. All are eager, alert, and happy to be able to attend and join their comrades in arms.


WWII 8th AF Lt. Col. Ralph Anderson, B24 Bombardier, (age 93), Racine, WI

WWII 8th AF 1st Lt. Scott Welch, B17 Pilot (age 95) & wife Phyl (age 94) & daughter Linda, Silver Lake, WI

WWII 8th AF, Tech Sgt. Bob Schuh, (age 93), B17 waist and tail gunner, togglier, Chilton, WI

WWII 8th AF, Sgt. Art Grisa, (age 93), tail & waist gunner (purple heart recipient) & wife Marnie

Grisa,* Brookfield, WI

WWII 8th AF, Don O’Reilly*, (age 96), MP and daughter, Aurora, IL

Korea, 8th AF, A/1C (Airman 1st Class) Don Hilbig*, (age 84) from Beloit, WI

Jeff (Treasurer, WI 8th AFHS) & wife Tina Spritka (assisting veterans on the flight and New Orleans)

Cindy Drehmel (President, WI 8th AFHS), (assisting veterans on the flight and in New Orleans)

Individuals meeting us in New Orleans: Next gens (fathers served in WWII) :Wes Lundsberg, (AF

Vietnam) & wife Jan (IL.), Bill McCutcheon (WI), and Betty Lewis (WI).

This year they are pairing with Cudahy-St. Francis Kiwanis Club Foundation Inc. They will graciously accept donations on our behalf at NO cost to the Wisconsin Chapter.

To give a tax deductible donation, write checks* to: Cudahy-St. Francis Kiwanis Club Foundation **When filling out your check, make sure put Wis. Chap 8th AFHS in the lower left corner of your check to ensure funds go to our group .

Mail checks to: Cudahy-St. Francis Kiwanis Club Foundation Inc, 5925 S. Robert Ave., Cudahy, WI 53110

Or you can call the WI Chapter of the 8th Air Force Historical Society at (414) 573-8520.

The cost will be approx. $1,500. 00 per person for flight, stay, food, lodging, and program for the five day event. Funds raised over the amount will be used for future group events for our Wi and IL veterans and families.

The WI Chapter 8th Air force Historical Society has been in existence for 27 years, and consists entirely of volunteers. The WI 8th AF HS honors and reunions veterans of all conflicts from states of WI and IL.

Quarterly reunions are held at the 128th Air Refueling Wing in Milwaukee, WI to educate the public and honor and reunion all vets. Annual Fly for Freedom educational days are also held at local high schools.


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