The spring trip of World War II veterans to Washington, D.C. through the non-profit Honor Flight Lowcountry is Saturday, and officials are inviting locals to welcome the group back.

A much smaller contingent than normal of about 33 vets from World War II and Korea, plus 22 volunteer assistants, will be departing around 6:15 a.m. from Charleston International Airport. They return about 6:50 p.m.

Volunteer organizer Remley R. Campbell said groups or individuals wanting to welcome the men at their arrival back in Charleston are encouraged to meet at the airport Saturday night.

This is at least the sixth Honor Flight trip from here to D.C. Part of the reason for the participation drop-off is that several hundred area veterans have already made the trip. Previous flights have included up to 100 ves at a time, along with 50 escorts and medical professionals.

Charleston’s chapter was formed to complement the already established Honor Flight South Carolina based in Columbia. The nationally run effort has allowed thousands of vets to see the national World War II monument even as those same former sailors, soldiers, airmen and Marines are dying out at a rate of more than 1,000 a day. A key feature is that veterans travel free of charge, based on donations.

While in Washington the veterans will visit the memorial plus other sites.

Previous flights went by charter to Reagan National Airport in Washington. This group is flying commercial on Southwest Airlines to Baltimore-Washington International. Local police department bag pipers are expected to be part of the greeting.

For information on the next Honor Flight, probably next spring, contact Campbell at

(843) 789-3857, or by e-mail at

Reach Schuyler Kropf at 937-5551.