Chance meeting leads to project honoring veterans - KPTV - FOX 12

Chance meeting leads to project honoring veterans

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During a visit to the post office, a local man met a World War II veteran that inspired a project, a scale model of a war plane that represented the legacy of veterans around the country.

That model now sits in McMinnville, keeping the memory of the greatest generation alive.

David Foss said when he met 92-year-old World War II veteran Donald Anderson, the two struck up a conversation and found a shared interest in war memorabilia.

Anderson was a tail gunner on a B-17 Flying Fortress plane during the war.

"I was just a high school kid in Arlington, Washington, and they drafted me, and put me in the service," he recalled.

To thank him for his service, Foss, a World War II memorabilia maker, built a replica of the plane that was put on display at the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum Tuesday morning.

While it took Foss a good deal of time and effort to complete the project, he said it was nothing compared to what veterans like Anderson experienced.

“When I think about Don at 18 years old, crammed in the back of one of these, 40 or 50 degrees below zero, fire bursting all around him, and thinking that he did that, it's worth my time and effort," Foss said.

What makes the model special is the amount of detail, from the flight deck all the way down to the small items onboard.

"It's an incredible model. I've never seen anything like it," Anderson said. “He says ‘I built a desk,’ he said there's a notepad on it and there's a pencil and there's an eraser on the pencil, and I said, ‘Oh, I can't believe that.’"

Foss says he put his best effort into the project, to repay veterans who gave their best to their country.

“I’m very honored that it's here,” he said. “Just that people will be able to see the work that I do."

Foss said the model took about four months to build from a plastic kit. He has built more than 20 similar models for other veterans before this latest project.

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