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Family surprises veteran with 90th birthday flight

Donald W. Kifer, a former Marine Corp. pilot, was surprised with an honor flight for his 90th...
Donald W. Kifer, a former Marine Corp. pilot, was surprised with an honor flight for his 90th birthday.(Family)
Published: Dec. 5, 2021 at 5:46 PM EST
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - For his 90th birthday, a Marine Corps veteran was given a very special gift at Lunken Airport.

First Lieutenant Donald Ward Kifer, a former Marine Corps pilot, celebrated his birthday on Friday.

His family gifted him something near and dear to his heart — a flight with Flamingo Air, piloted by fellow veteran Mr. William Greenwald.

“I was very surprised,” said Kifer.” I didn’t know anything about it.”

Donald W. Kifer flew with Flamingo Air, piloted by fellow veteran William Greenwald.
Donald W. Kifer flew with Flamingo Air, piloted by fellow veteran William Greenwald.(WXIX)

Flamingo Air’s plane looked a little different than what Kifer is used to. Kifer served in the Korean War, where he flew f-9 Panthers and A-4 Skyhawks off of the USS Bennington.

“To think, the government lets you fly those expensive airplanes, it’s wild,” Kifer joked. “It’s a real thrill.”

Members of Flamingo Air said it was an honor to have a hero aboard.

It was also a real thrill for Flamingo Air at Lunken to have a hero aboard.

Cadets from the US Naval Sea Cadet Corps. were honored to be able to share the day with Kifer.

“It’s amazing to be able to see him up there and see him having the time of his life,” said Petty Officer First Class Allison Ross.

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