LOVELAND, Colo. (KDVR) – You can tell how much David Landers thinks about World War II by his book shelf. It’s overstuffed with scrapbooks, filled with photographs and memories from his time at war.
“I knew flying is what I wanted to do,” Landers, 100, told FOX31.
At age 19, he left his Wyoming home and headed off to war, joining the Army Air Corps. Soon, he found himself behind the controls of a B-25 bomber, piloting a dozen bombing runs over the Pacific while stationed in Okinawa, preparing for a possible invasion of Japan. Thankfully he wasn’t injured.
“All we got was bullet holes in our plane,” he said.
When the war ended days after two nuclear bombs were dropped over Japan in 1945, Landers soon was headed back home, though with some regrets.
“I should’ve stayed in the Army, but I didn’t.”
He also wished he’d kept flying. He never flew a plane again after the war, though he wishes he had.
“But my wife didn’t think so,” he joked.
We couldn’t find a way to get him back in to a cockpit, but FOX31 did find a way to thank Landers for his service, and celebrate his 100th birthday. Landers has been named the FOX31 Serving Those Who Serve Hero of the Month for April 2023.
Along with a plaque, he’s receives a $100 Visa gift card from our Serving Those Who Serve sponsors, Ford and the Leo Hill Charitable Trust.
To nominate a veteran or active duty service member for our hero of the month honors, visit the Serving Those Who Serve nomination page.