On Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, a few members from our Springfield American Legion Post 227 ventured to Maris Grove to celebrate the birthday of long-term post member Jack Roselli.
Jack celebrated his 98th birthday on Saturday, Feb. 8.
The birthday squad consisted of Bill Clark, Tom Cotton, World War II veteran Norm Douglas and myself (Bill Smeck).
Jack's lovely and energetic wife Edith met us at the front door of their building and escorted us to their apartment.
We brought a container of Starbucks coffee, thanks to Cotton, and a large cake with the inscription Happy 98th Birthday Jack.
Jack has been a member of Post 227 since the early 1960s.
He served in the Army Air Corps (Air Force) for just over three years during the second world war. His duties involved supporting a squadron of B-24 Liberator heavy bombers as they flew missions over Germany.
His duty station was an airbase in the southeastern part of England. He communicated how for each mission when the bomber squadron left in the morning a count was taken by all on the airfield, especially the ground crews.
Then, by late afternoon, when the aircraft returned from the mission, most times the number of aircraft returning were fewer in number, sometimes by one or two, and for some missions even more. They had been lost to enemy flak or fighters.
Jack returned to the United States in December 1945.
He related that after the war he returned home to his old job at GE where he continued to work for another 42 years, eventually retiring there. Also, it was at a company event where he met his future wife Edith. She also worked for GE.
Jack and Edith seemed to enjoy our visit. It was a great day.