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NEW ORLEANS (CBS11) – This week’s Wednesday’s Warrior is a man, who by his own account, should not be here. He’s John Luckadoo, A World War II veteran. Most people call him Lucky.
And for good reason.
Lucky Luckadoo was 19 years old when our country called on him to fly the B-17 Bomber.
“At that time we were required to do 25 combat missions. If you survived. Statistically, you couldn’t,” said Luckadoo.
But on one of his early bombing runs into Germany, the nickname became legend. It was October 8, 1943.
“We were on a mission to Bremen. We lost 12 out of 18 airplanes,” said Luckadoo.
One-hundred and twenty men gone in an instant.
One of the sobering stories Luckadoo plans to share with 17-year-old Drake Leach, a Grapevine High School junior, who is among dozens selected to spend the next two days, one-on-one, with members of the greatest generation in New Orleans, visiting the National World War II Museum among other things, courtesy of actor Gary Sinise and his Soaring Valor Foundation.
“It’s incredible to know that I will be with someone who is directly connected with me being here today,” said Leach.
Leach and others won’t hear many stories of heroism. They will hear stories of what it was really like.
“Out of those 40 that went to my graduating class, that went to this same group, four of us completed a tour,” said Luckadoo.
“I need to know how they did it,” said Leach. “Why they did it and how it affected them, because if I can learn that, I can tell others about it. They will never be forgotten.”
The Greatest Generation is passing it down to the next generation.