HACKETT, Ark. — Darrell Bates of Hackett is an accomplished war veteran, and Thursday (Nov 12th), he celebrates his 100th birthday. The night before his big day, his family recognized his tremendous service.
Bates was born in Little Rock in 1920, he started his military career in the Army Air Corps serving as a turret gunner on a B24 bomber plane, deploying overseas fighting alongside Ally Troops. He returned from that war unharmed.
He continued his service and joined the Air Force, fighting in the Korean War and Vietnam War before retiring after 21 years of service the rank of Master Sergeant.
Kristine Neal, one of Bates’ nine great-grandchildren, said she can’t wait for the coronavirus pandemic to be over so she can hug her great grandfather.
“I think it’s really cool that he served in the military, that he went to World War II without a scratch on him, I wish I could see him more without having to talk to him through the window,” Neal said.