JEFFERSON COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — A St. Marys World War II Veteran received a great honor Thursday during a Veterans Day ceremony that commemorated his service.
99-year-old John Quatroche was invited to the Punxsutawney Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 2076 to receive a Quilt of Valor after he was nominated by his son Anthony, a fellow recipient and a retired commander in the Army. During the ceremony, he was surprised by the VFW with a lifetime membership.
VFW Commander Jim Pallone who presented Quatroche with the membership made him one of the oldest in the country to receive one. The American hero couldn’t help but feel emotional.
“Oh it was wonderful, I almost started to cry because of all the wonderful things they said,” Quatroche said.
Born in 1922, Quatroche enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps at the age of 20 and served during a global conflict that lasted from 1939 to 1945. He spent 26 years flying all over Europe and across many countries from England to Austria.
Quatroche also towed gliders with paratroopers during the Rhineland Drop. 75 years later, he still remembers it all.
“Everything we needed in Europe we flew in our 247‘s and another one was full of 5 gallons of gasoline and we had to get that in,” Quatroche said. “Then there was ammunition, any ammunition the Army needed we took it to them. That’s what it was all about.”
Bob Lott of the VFW Post 2076 adds they hope to celebrate Quatroche’s 100th birthday with him on May 1, 2022.
“If we can have him as a member, we can probably have a nice 100th birthday party for him,” Lott said.
“So proud that I made it here and that they gave it to me and that it’s so wonderful. It’s so unbelievable,” Quatroche added. “I didn’t think it was going to come to this point. But I did, and I’m here.”
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