Woodward, Okla. —
VICI - Area resident Bill Salisbury, 89, was aboard an Oklahoma Honor Flight (OHF) that visited Washington, D.C. earlier this month.
Officials with the Honor Flight organization said the flights were started to assure each veteran of World War II got to visit the memorial to the second great war before they died.
A Navy veteran, Salisbury said he didn't know anything about Oklahoma Honor Flights until someone from the organization contacted him about participating.
"I don't know how they found me," Salisbury said.
But trip coordinator and OHF board member Linda Banz said someone must have submitted his name, as each participant has to register.
While surprised by the call from Oklahoma Honor Flights, Salisbury gladly accepted the offer to be flown to see the memorial to the service that he and thousands of other young men gave during World War II.
Following graduation from Taloga High School in 1941, Salisbury journeyed to California, where he worked on the building of B-17 Flying Fortress bombers. He spent about a year and a half doing that, before enlisting in the Navy.
He spent 3 years and 3 months in the Navy as a fighter plane mechanic. His served aboard an aircraft carrier in the Pacific Ocean, where his duties included warming up the fighter planes before takeoff.
After his service concluded in 1946, Salisbury returned to the tri-state area and spent about a year and a half working cattle and performing other related duties at a ranch near Perryton, Texas.
He then used his GI Bill benefits to attend what was then Oklahoma A&M University at Stillwater, where he earned his degree in agriculture education.
Salisbury was then paid by the government to teach agriculture education at a high school in Stratford, Texas.
He met wife Nancy there, and they subsequently moved to his native Vici, where he taught agriculture education for 23 years. He retired in 1980.
Since then, he has managed a few cattle from his home on land southeast of Vici.