100-year-old is surprised with the ride of a lifetime in a T-6 plane


DESTIN Fla. (WMBB) — A WWII Veteran continued his 100-year-old birthday celebrations Sunday with a once-in-a-lifetime surprise. 

On Friday, the Chester Clifford Sims State Veterans Nursing home celebrated Major Sergeant Edward Johnson, but his family had another surprise up their sleeves.

WWII veteran celebrates his 100th birthday at Sims State Veteran Nursing Home

“Life has been good you know, I mean 100 years,” said Johnson, after getting off a T-6 plane Sunday. “That only comes once in a lifetime.”

His family wanted to surprise him, making 100 his best birthday yet.

“What do you get a guy that is 100 years old? I mean he always wants cash, but this is way better than cash,” said Johnson’s eldest son Mike Johnson. “We had to have a clear ceiling and not much wind in order to pull this off, so god just opened it up for us.”

Johnson’s entire family pitched in to help with this surprise. He was able to fly around Destin for about 15 minutes. He said those are 15 minutes he will never forget.

“It was great, we flew all over and I could see all the terrain out here, and there were a lot of boats, big boats out there,” said Johnson.

Three two-seater planes flew in formation, and Johnson said it brought back memories of his 26 years serving in the U.S. Air Force.

“I flew a lot in Air Force planes and C-47, that was an Air Force plane,” said Johnson. “Really easy to fly.”

Now that he is 100- years old, Johnson said he has lived a great life.

“And here I am,” he said. “I don’t know where the good genes came from, I would like to know, because we picked them up somewhere, the family.”

He said his sister lived to be 101, so he does not expect to go anywhere anytime soon.

“It’s been a great life for me, I’m telling ya,” he said.

The flight crew Sunday said, Johnson is the oldest veteran they took up in a T-6. The oldest before him had been 85 years old.

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