Military widow gets to live her husband's dream - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Military widow gets to live her husband's dream

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) – The widow of a Navy pilot paid tribute to her husband Friday with a special flight above San Diego.

Mary Westland, 93, and her family got to climb aboard a Goodyear blimp to honor her late husband, Captain Westland.

Captain Westland took his first flight back in the 1930’s and it spurred his interest in becoming a pilot with the Navy.

“For my dad it was the beginning of his love for flying. It was on the blimp and he continued to take flying lessons on his own. He would always say it’s where he got his start,” said Jann Davidson, Captain Westland's daughter. 

Now, 80-years later, his widow got the opportunity to ride a Goodyear blimp to relive her husband’s experience.

Captain Westland eventually joined the Navy as an aviator. During the Second World War, Westland flew troops into battle and transported the wounded to safety.

Throughout his career, he frequently told his family about his ride in the Goodyear blimp. In fact, the family lived near one of the blimp’s hubs in Carson.

Recently, his daughter spotted a contest at the Navy Exchange offering service members the chance to win a ride.

“I just decided to put my mom’s name in and see the opportunity, but not usually winning everything. I was just surprised and overwhelmed by everything,” she said.

The Westland’s, along with four other families, won.

“Mom wore a set of dad’s Navy wings. He’d be very, very excited to relive his childhood. He’d be talking to the pilots the whole time,” she said.

The family spent nearly an hour in the air reliving the excitement that led to Captain Westland’s career in aviation.

The Goodyear blimp will be flying over the skies of San Diego all weekend at the Farmers Insurance Open Golf Tournament at Torrey Pines.

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