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Rainier Squadron Helps War Veteran Celebrate 100th Birthday

Auburn, WA (February 17, 2023) - The CAF Rainier Squadron celebrated World War II veteran Richard Nelms’ 100th birthday by giving him a special flight in their assigned Stinson AT-19.

The centennial celebration occurred at The Museum of Flight, where Nelms is a volunteer and contributor to the living history and speakers bureau programs. In addition to the AT-19 flight, the birthday celebration included an Honor Guard flag ceremony and special guest speakers. A crowd was there to celebrate with the veteran and listen to him talk about some of his memories in the service.

Nelms enlisted in 1942 and was assigned to the 447th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force, in Rattlesden, England. He reminisced about his days as a bomber pilot while standing beside the museum's B-17 static display with the clarity and enthusiasm of a 19-year-old.

“I don’t feel a day older than I did last night!” Nelms joked.

The CAF Rainier Squadron members were thrilled to participate in the local hero’s celebration. One of the squadron members remarked that Nelms was “all smiles as he boarded the AT-19 for his flight.”

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