SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A local veteran received a special birthday surprise on Saturday.
Leo “Bud” W. Carroll Jr. turned 100 years old on July 10th, 2021, and has been a lifelong resident of Springfield.
The outdoor celebration was complete with a medal presentation, a letter from Senator Roy Blunt, and even a flag presentation.
As a boy, he loved to hunt and fish with his parents and after school, he learned to repair typewriters for his father at Carroll Business Systems. When Bud was young, he dreamed of flying airplanes. So, when it came time to either be drafted or enlist, he enlisted with the US Army Air Corps. After enlisting, Bud was sent to San Antonio, Texas, where he began his training.
Bud trained to fly single-engine and twin-engine open-cockpit planes. He later graduated to B-24s and B-29s.
After serving in World War II, Bud married and enjoyed life with his wife and children. Bud’s family says his life is worth celebrating for a century and more.
“He’s pretty sweet,” said Ann Carroll Rhea, Bud’s daughter. “We love him a bunch and we’re going to keep him. For another hundred years”
“Well I want to thank my family,” said Bud. “What few of them there are. I appreciate their efforts here. And I’m thankful to the good Lord for letting us have a good day for today.”
In retirement, Bud bought a farm near Wilson`s Creek Battlefield where he raised cattle and taught his grandchildren to farm, fish, and shoot. He continued his love of flying multi-engine planes as he accepted a part-time job flying a C-47 for FedEx runs between Springfield and Memphis.