Ensign Warren J. Lundeen graduated from Duluth Denfeld in 1939 and enlisted in the U.S. Navy in January 1942. He was assigned to the V-7 Naval flying program at the University of Minnesota and transferred to V-5 Naval flying program in 1943. Primary flight training was at Ottumwa, Iowa; intermediary flight training at Corpus Christi, Texas; and advanced flight training at Pensacola, Fla.
While at Ottumwa he played baseball for the Naval Air Team, which won the All Service Championship. He was assigned to fly as a R6D (DC-6) transport pilot with the Naval Aviation Transport Service and served in the Pacific Theater at bases in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Hawaii.
His missions involved transporting high-ranking military officers and other VIPs. One of Lundeen’s most famous passengers was Madame Chiang Kai-Shek, wife of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek, leader of Nationalist Party in China. In 1945 she and her two sisters would fly aboard Lundeen’s aircraft from Shanghai, China, to the United States.
Lundeen was discharged in 1946 and went on to graduate from the University of Minnesota in 1947, where he lettered in hockey, baseball and football. He maintained a private pilot license until, as he says, “I ran out of health and money.” Warren lives on Pike Lake.
Submitted by Alvin D. Grady of Hermantown
Read the article: And More Thank Yous to Veterans (cont.)