PERRY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The wings and the wheels of the P-51 Mustang date back to World War II and Frank Cross dates back even further.
"I lost three good friends over there, one of them my son's named for," Cross said, "and I just have fond memories when I was flying the darn things."
In 1953, the World War II Veteran was shot down in P-51 Mustang in Korea. At 92, he remembers the mission like it was yesterday.
"I shot up and I didn't have any oil pressure and I called the flight leader and said 'Mayday no oil pressure' and he said 'head south,'" Cross said.
On Saturday, Cross headed west. For the first time in 50 years, he got behind the cockpit of the Mustang, manning the aircraft for a 40 minute flight. Perry-Houston County Airport manager Patsy Groff arranged the trip for Cross and other veterans at the airport's open house.
"He's so deserving," she said, "and when I told him about it, he was just so excited, he couldn't believe it was really happening."
Groff and other onlookers watched from the runway, as living history made its landing. While the 92-year-old needed some assistance getting in and out of the aircraft, his trip was a smooth one.
"It's like riding a bike," he said about his flight, "my son won't believe it."