Last updated: June 04. 2014 9:26AM - 691 Views

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VAN WERT — Robert “Bob” Wilson, of Van Wert, celebrated his 94th birthday June 4, 2014.


He was born in Lima on June 4, 1920. He lived the first 16 years of his life in Lima.


Most of the events he likes to recall in his long life are of the ordinary variety, but, a few do standout.


On July 3, 1941, Wilson enlisted as a private in the U.S. Air Force. On Aug. 31, 1942, he entered Aviation Cadet Training. He completed cadet training on Sept. 30, 1943, and on Oct. 1, 1943 he graduated as a pilot and received his wings and was commissioned as a second lieutenant and assigned to B-17 Bomber training.


Piloting a B-17 bomber, he completed 35 combat missions over Germany on Feb. 26, 1945. He was wounded on his sixth mission target to Mainz Germany and was awarded the Purple Heart.


Wilson found Air Force life to his liking and retired at Chanute Air Force Base, in Illinois on Sept. 30, 1971 after 30 years of service.


He and his wife, Coralie (Severn) were married Dec. 3, 1946, at St. Marks Lutheran Church.


They have three children: Coralie Ann, living near St. Paul, MN; Mark Stuart, near Atlanta, GA and Colin Lee at Plano, Texas. Moving around in the Air Force, Bob and Coralie’s children found the USA truly a land of opportunity. They get together when possible and feel blessed that they are still able to do so.


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