Albuquerque WWII veteran celebrates 100th birthday

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Jim Wilson is celebrating being 100 years old, and the World War II veteran says he doesn’t regret much in those 100 years. Wilson was an Army Paratrooper during the war.

“The first jump is the easiest,” Wilson says. He was involved in the raid on Los Baños in the Philippines in 1945. He and his fellow troopers rescued thousands of prisoners from a Japanese prison camp. Ther aid is known as one of the most successful rescue operations in modern military history.

Wilson has received a purple heart, a bronze star, a presidential citation, and many other awards. Earlier this week, he received a birthday card in the mail from the youngest person they rescued from Los Baños. “The youngest was a three-day-old baby carried out in one of the helmets of one of the paratroopers,” said Pat Wilson, Jim’s wife.

Wilson doesn’t speak much about his time in the military, but he’ll admit he’s proud of what he did. “I never regretted that,” said Wilson.

His advice for younger generations: work hard, be proud, and drink a cold brew from time to time. “Have a Shinerbock about daily,” said Wilson.

Wilson’s wife hosted a birthday party for him on Saturday evening. Family and friends from all over the country were there to celebrate.

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