110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
posted Jan 25, 2013 - 7:19:34am
DeLandite Chuck Downey, a retired Navy captain, was recently honored with an invitation to participate in the grand opening of The United States Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center.
The exhibit is the latest addition to the campus of the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.
Originally from Chicago and a pilot for 70 years, Downey moved to DeLand four years ago. He was the youngest aviator to fly for the Navy during World War II. Downey’s military career lasted 33 years.
During the war, Downey flew an SBD Douglas Dauntless, similar to the plane depicted in Courtney Canova’s mural in the 100 block of West New York Avenue in Downtown DeLand.
Downey traveled to New Orleans to represent the Navy at the Boeing exhibit as a real-life example of a pilot who flew the SBD Douglas Dauntless.
The Jan. 12 event featured artifacts and special guests, like Downey, who represented all
The master of ceremonies was journalist and author Tom Brokaw, whose book The Greatest Generation is a salute to those who fought in World War II.
“It was an excellent party,” Downey said.
Downey was also pleased with his date for the museum dedication. His daughter Karen Lunceford of Durango, Colo., flew in to take her dad’s arm at the prestigious affair.
Downey and his wife, who has died, have five children and eight grandchildren.
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