WWII veteran celebrates 100th birthday

Published: Oct. 15, 2023 at 8:08 PM EDT
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CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - The New River Valley celebrated the 100th birthday of one of our hometown veterans Sunday.

“Feels pretty good, I’m looking for the next hundred,” said James Flinchum, a veteran of WWII.

He celebrated his 100th birthday with family, friends and loved ones at his assisted living home in Christiansburg. He says he was honored to have his closest people with him on his special day.

He served as an aviation engineer for two years during World War II.

His proud son, Jim Flinchum, also served in the military and says like many veterans, his father doesn’t like to talk about his experiences in the war.

“The P-51s would land and very often they were shot up already and leaking fuel, Many of them caught fire, and he always got the pilots out, and the pilots were sometimes on fire too and he’d pull them out, spray them down; he was quite heroic on that,” said Jim.

After two years in his platoon, Flinchum was stationed in England, where he traveled across Europe after D-Day.

“No smoking, no drinking.” Jim says that’s what his father considers the secret of having a long life.

He says it’s an honor to be able to tell his father ‘Happy 100th birthday.’

“How many people do you know can say happy 100th birthday dad? You know anybody that can say that?,” emphasized Jim.

Flinchum spent the rest of Sunday afternoon receiving gifts and eating cake with his guests at the party of the century.