Portland WWII veteran celebrates 100th birthday on Fourth of July
PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - Portland World War II Veteran Milford “Mac” MacDougal celebrated his 100th birthday on the 4th of July.
MacDougal was drafted into the Army when he turned 20 in 1942. In October of that year, he deployed to the island of Leyte in the Philippines, flying more than 300 hours over enemy territory, directing artillery as a liaison pilot.
“They hit me with a 20 mm that hit the rib of the wing right by my head and it exploded, and I got a piece of shrapnel across the back of my head,” said MacDougal. “If it had been two inches in the front, I wouldn’t be here today.”
The injury earned MacDougal a Purple Heart. He came back home in the fall of 1945, got married, and went to college on the G.I. Bill. He continued his service in the Army Reserves, and was sent back overseas during the Korean War.
“I’m proud of our country. I’m proud of its history,” said MacDougal. “I’m especially grateful to be a part of it, of course.”
In a century on this planet, MacDougal has survived two wars, a traumatic brain injury, and cancer, and says he’s grateful for every day.
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