WWII Vet Turns 105, Gets High School Diploma - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

WWII Vet Turns 105, Gets High School Diploma

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Photo Courtesy of FirstLightHomeCare Photo Courtesy of FirstLightHomeCare

A local World War II Vet celebrated his birthday and received an honorary high school diploma.

On Sunday, Bill Mohr, the second oldest WWII veteran, turned 105.

The vet had many reasons to celebrate his life. He shared the special day with his 98-year-old wife Josephine on their 70th wedding anniversary.

During the 1920s, Bill had to leave school to help his family during tough times. When he was 3, his father was killed in a printing press accident, so Bill and his twin brother were placed in an orphanage until they were 8, when their mother remarried and brought them home.

Bill received a full scholarship to St. Joseph Prep School, but because of economic times was not able to finish his schooling there.

He married in 1943 and served in the military from '43-'45. During World War II, he was part of the 381st Replacement Company European Front, 45th Infantry, serving in North Africa, Italy, France, Germany. His rank was sergeant. At age 35, he was one of the oldest called to active duty.

Legion of Honor, Chavelier (highest award given to non-French war heroes). Earned for his service in the Beachhead Invasion of St. Tropez in August of 1945. Known as Operation Dragoon Bill made a landing in Southern France and marched up the Rhine River Valley. He helped to liberate Dakow, the concentration camp. He suffered from serious back problems that could only be corrected by surgery. After having several spinal discs removed and others shaved down, he was once again able to walk again without pain. This recovery took years.

Bill and his brother had a landscaping business for years, and later he went to work as a lathe operator, cutting expensive pieces of metal with great accuracy for things like nuclear submarines and power plants around the world. He worked until he was 93 and drove until he was 97.

The Hatboro resident loves to read and still does crossword puzzles almost every day. He published his first book of poetry at age 90.

Friends say he is a great storyteller and remembers wonderful details about his life.

Now, he can add high school graduate to his list of achievements. Mohr just received an honorary high school diploma from St. Joe's.

Bill and his wife still live in the same home that he built for them during the 1940s.

Happy Birthday, Bill!

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