MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Vikings are honoring survivors and victims of the attacks on Pearl Harbor before today's game against the New York Jets with a special flyover by a World War II era planes.
The flyover will occur approximately three minutes before the game, with a large B-25 bomber joined by five T-6 training planes that will have smoke trails coming from them. The planes will travel from west to east, flying above the large scoreboard at TCF Bank Stadium and continuing over the length of the field.
World War II veterans Roger G. Rand, of North Oaks, Minn., and Jim Carroll, of Bloomington, Minn., will be on-board the B-25 and be joined by former Vikings Hall of Fame Head Coach Bud Grant, who is also a veteran.
Rand, 91, was a B-17 Bomber pilot in the 3rd Division of the 95th Bomb Group in the 9th Air Force based out of Horham, England. He completed 22 missions before being shot down on Jan. 10, 1945. The plane exploded after being hit at 23,000 feet of altitude, but Rand survived that and endured more than four months in a German Prisoner of War camp before returning home.
The years served by Carroll, 91, included his role as a paratrooper during the D-Day (June 6, 1944) invasion by Allied Forces and fighting at the Battle of the Bulge. Carroll, who was already recognized with a Bronze Star from the American military, recently received the Knight of the Legion of Honor Medal, which was established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 and is the highest honor a person can receive from the French military.
The flyover is part of a series of tributes for National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, including placing the stadium flags at half mast, a trumpet performance of the National Anthem by Manny Laureano, and a Soldier Salute of Navy SC1 Richard Thill, who was on board the USS Ward in Pearl Harbor during the attack 73 years ago.