Two WWII veterans reunited after nearly 71 years - KPTV - FOX 12

Two WWII veterans reunited after nearly 71 years

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Bill Kinard and Mel Hays Bill Kinard and Mel Hays

Lieutenant-Colonel Mel Hays and Bill Kinard are two WWII veterans living at the Laurel Parc Retirement Home. Once they got to talking, they soon realized they had a lot more in common than they could have ever imagined.

Hays was a fighter pilot based out of Italy. His plane crashed landed on an island in the Adriatic Sea 71 years ago.

Now Hays has been reunited with Kinard, a pilot who he helped in several missions including the day Hay's plane crashed.

"Well, it's kind of ironic because I used to, you know, fly underneath the bombers and wave at them. You see in these movies where he spins the gun, turn them around and waves at you. And I'd get right up where I could recognize them," said Hays.

The two vets are still able to wear their flight jackets just like in the fighting day, even though Hays adds they are a little snug.

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