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Sun, Mar 12, 2017

WWII Veteran Gets Special Birthday Gift

Flies In A B-17 For His 99th Birthday

A WWII veteran received a special gift for his 99th birthday ... a ride in a restored B-17 bomber. And Sergeant Eugene Leonard said the experience took him right back to 1941.

Fox News reports that the flight was arranged by Guy Coulombe, who befriended Leonard at a monthly meeting of Pearl Harbor survivors in San Diego two years ago. Leonard had recently lost his second wife, and Coulombe hoped that the B-17 experience would cheer him up.

Leonard joined the Marines in 1936, and later served in the Air Force as a mechanic. During the war, he was shot down and survived, according to the report.

While Leonard said he spent "thousands of hours in the R4D and C46," the birthday ride was his first time in a B-17.

Coulombe said that Leonard was probably indirectly responsible for saving about 40 lives during the war through his work on airplanes and "preventing pilots from making mistakes."

(Image from file)

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