Honor Flight of South Carolina History


Jeff Miller, a co-founder of the Honor Flight Network, helped the mayor of Simpsonville organize the first Honor Flight from the Upstate. 



2008 was the organizational year for Honor Flight of South Carolina.  We received wonderful support from all media and the first flight was scheduled for November 15, 2011.


July – First meeting to discuss Honor Flight project for Columbia Region. Contract signed to charter a USAir 737.

August- WISTV and The State did several special reports; received our first major gift of $7,500 and several gifts of $2,500; 

Verizon provide a free cell phone for our volunteer call center to use..  

September- Gilbert Middle School contacted us and indicated they wanted to raise funds for Honor Flight.  Andre Bauer, Murray Price and I went to Gilbert Middle School to kick-off their efforts.

November- The State newspaper did 10 Profiles of WWll Veterans.

November 11- On Veterans Day, Gilbert Middle School contributed a check for $7,800. Eventually they would raise more than $8,500 to support Honor Flight. The City of Columbia invited the WWll Veterans to be special VIP guest at the Veterans Day parade.

November 15- Inaugural Honor Flight; 95 WWll Veterans traveled.



2009 was a busy year.  The community embraced the Honor Flight project and the fundraising efforts were outstanding.  We were able to take 4 flights from Columbia and an additional flight that was organized by the Kershaw community.     


January- USC Hospitality class decides to raise funds for Honor Flight and they raised a total of $28,000.

March- ATO Fraternity at USC raised $7,500 for Honor Flight.

April 15 - Second Honor Flight from Columbia.

April- USC Football Team honors WWll Veterans and families at the annual Spring Football Game.

April- USC Baseball Team honors WWll Veterans.

May 27- Third Honor Flight from Columbia.

July- Fort Jackson invites WWll Veterans to be Honored Guest at Graduation; VIP tour of Fort Jackson.

August - Honor Flight of SC helps launch the Charleston Honor Flight project .We also help launch a project for Kershaw, SC.

September 5- Fourth Honor Flight from Columbia.

October- Joint National Guard selects Honor Flight to be recipient of a portion of proceeds from sale of concessions during air and ground firepower show.  WWll Veterans are special VIP guest at preview show.  Total awarded to Honor Flight is $25,000; Agreed to collaborate with Celebrate Freedom Foundation for their Spring Event which will honor Vietnam Era Veterans.

November 7- Fifth Honor Flight from Columbia and first flight from Charleston; There were 300 persons from SC at the WWll Memorial at 10:30am on this day including 182 WWll Veterans.

November 21- Kershaw Honor Flight supported by Honor Flight of SC.



Another successful year for the Honor Flight programs in South Carolina.  Each hub has geographical responsibilities. This now enables each hub to better serve the veterans in their communities.  The first 2010 flight from South Carolina was April 20 from the Upstate and it was followed by flights from Columbia on April 21 and September 1 and two flights from Charleston during April and October.  Myrtle Beach had their “Inaugural” flight on November 10, 2010.  Over 1300 WWll Veterans have been able to see their memorial since 2008.



This year began with a WWll Tribute show in Columbia at the Township Auditorium.  Jerry Neely was the chair of this event.  The Gillespie Group helped organize the event.  Over 2,500 WWll Veterans, family members and friends attended a concert featuring the Glen Miller Orchestra, The Liberty Belles and our special Bob Hope impersonator – Mr. Bill Johnson.  The first flight of 2011 will be on April 27 and will depart from Columbia.  Charleston and Myrtle Beach will also have flights during May.  The Upstate is planning a flight in the fall and Columbia has announced a flight for November 9, 2011.


Contact Bill Dukes for more information – www.honorflightsc.com  


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