SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A local World War II veteran celebrated over a century of birthdays this weekend with friends and family.
Stephen Floyd served in the U.S. Army Air Corps and was a prisoner of war for 11 months. He will officially turn 104 on Thursday, Oct. 12.
Floyd’s friends and family gathered at The Gardens Senior Living Center to celebrate him and enjoy some cake in honor of this milestone birthday.
“I’m so grateful to them,” Floyd said. “You know, to be remembered at my age, it’s, it’s a pleasure to see them”
Floyd was a waist gunner on a B-17 in WWII on his third flight when his crew ran into a problem. They had to bail out over Germany, and at first, his parachute didn’t open.
“I saw a white spot in there, and I put my finger in, and I finally got the little white parachute to pull the big one out. That was a relief,” Floyd said. “I came down on some German’s backyard, and two German soldiers with rifles were waiting for me, they’d formed a welcoming committee.”
Floyd said he was a POW in Germany for 11 months and two days. He said he didn’t think he would live to see 104.
“No, no. Let’s see. I was 24 then,” said Floyd. “I didn’t think I was going to make it to 25, but I got there.”
Although his birthday is still a few days away, Floyd’s family celebrated with him Oct. 7.
“He’s just, he’s an extremely extraordinary man,” said Roberta Floyd, Stephen Floyd’s daughter-in-law. “And he’s got a very good sense of humor.”
When asked what his secret was to having 104 birthdays, Floyd said:
“Well, believe in the Lord and have a sense of humor. You better have a sense of humor.”Stephen Floyd, 104 year old WWII veteran of the U.S. Army Air Corps