Photo of B-29

Five Inspirational Heroes to Fly in B-29 on July 10; Media Invited to Attend

Photo of Jonathan Teves and Blue Angels PilotCHESTERFIELD, Mo., July 1, 2021 – The 2022 Spirit of St. Louis Air Show & STEM Expo is not waiting until the next Air Show & STEM Expo in June 2022 to inspire the next generation and honor our heroes.

On July 10, the winners of the recent “Who is your hero?” essay contest will be joined by their real-life heroes or a guest for the flight of a lifetime in the B-29 “Doc” Superfortress.

“We have a mission to inspire the next generation of STEM professionals and pilots, while also honoring those who inspire us towards greatness,” Ashley McMichael, STEM Expo Coordinator, said. “These heroes have inspired many to fly higher than they thought possible, and it is our honor to send them soaring in the amazing and iconic B-29 ‘Doc’ Superfortress.”

The four winners are: Jonathan Teves (5th Grade); Charlye Miller (6th Grade); Mary Jo Pace; and, William Bauer. Two runners up, Peter Smith and Shawn Long, will also fly in Doc.

Contest winners had to submit essays about their heroes, why they inspired them, and how their heroes positively impacted the community. Sixty-six people of all ages submitted essays. Members of the Spirit of St. Louis Air Show & STEM Expo then spent time reviewing and scoring the essays to select the final winners.

“Every person who entered our contest is already a winner,” McMichael said. “They have been inspired to great things by the heroes they nominated and it was an honor for our team to see the impact they had on the entrants.”

Pace and Bauer nominated heroes who are WWII veterans, who will join them on this flight. The heroes are Al Villagran, who served as a B-17 tail gunner in 33 missions over Germany, and William J. Dees, who served as a paratrooper in the South Pacific. A third nominated hero, Ralph Goldsticker who served as a B-17 bombardier in WWII, will join them on the flight.

The 2022 Spirit of St. Louis Air Show & STEM Expo will be headlined by the US Navy Blue Angels and is scheduled for June 11-12, 2022 at the Spirit of St. Louis Airport in Chesterfield. Previous air shows have been held there in 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2019. In addition to the extensive static ramp and air show performances on both days, the event will feature the large, interactive STEM Expo and the Veteran-honoring Patriots Landing. All tickets will be sold online only. Check out for details and updates on when tickets will be available or follow us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

Press Kit
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