SAN ANTONIO – James Veltri celebrated his 100th birthday Tuesday February 22, 2022 on a very peculiar date.
Veltri was born Feb. 22,1922, or as he says, “2/22/22.”
And if today’s date isn’t peculiar enough, Veltri also served 22 years in the military. He enlisted in the Army Air Corp. in 1944 and was later drafted.
“I enlisted right out of high school, I think, I was about 19,” he said.
Veltri flew 51 bombing missions over Germany, Austria, Poland, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Romania, accumulating over 6,000 flight hours.
“My main job I had was commander of navigation training school (James Connally, Commander 3569th Navigator Training Squadron). We graduated about a thousand graduates a year. That was a gratifying job,” he said.
After his service, Veltri studied at Trinity University and majored in economics, but it was his accomplishments in the military that have brought him the most pride.
His room in the Army Residence Community in San Antonio proudly displays, photos, awards, and even a nicely pressed set of dress blues.