Past Meets Present

Paul Rehm, a B-17 navigator on the first daylight bombing raid into Germany during World War II visited Dyess AFB, Tex., on April 13 to see a B-17 at the base’s air park and share stories with Col. Gavin Ketchen, vice commander of Dyess’ 7th Bomb Wing, and Capt. Jeffrey Clesse, a B-1B pilot with the 7th Operations Group. Rehm, now 92, grew up near the base. He flew 26 bombing missions during the war. “On our first raid into Germany, there was so much flack in the air you could practically navigate by it,” he said, adding that, “The German fighters were pretty good at attacking us, too.” He said he enjoyed the opportunity to see a B-17 again up-close and enjoyed talking to Ketchen and Clesse. “The people here at Dyess are so important to keeping us free,” Rehm said, adding, “Thank you for everything you do.” (Dyess report by SSgt. Joel Mease)