CHEHALIS, Wash. — Bob Kabel graduated from USC, worked for decades as a civil engineer, and has five great-grandchildren, but what does the 100-year-old Chehalis resident consider his greatest accomplishment?
“Saving the world,” said Kabel, who was an Army engineer from 1942 to 1946.
Kabel helped liberate Europe during World War II, arriving on the beaches of Normandy two months after the Allied invasion.
For his 100th birthday on Thursday, members of the Cascade Warbirds flew over Kabel’s assisted living center in a four-airplane formation.
The volunteer organization, made up of mostly veterans, fly former military planes at airshows, and to honor of fellow veterans.
Kabel said it was an honor seeing the planes fly overhead, just for his birthday. He did not know any of the pilots and said he wasn’t sure if he deserved the honor.
“No more than anyone else,” said Kabel. ”There’s a whole lot of us. There aren’t many left, but there were a lot of us and they all deserve something. This is the best.”