WWII veteran shares stories from years in service

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Max Fulmer was just a young man in his early twenties when he decided to enlist in the Navy Air Force and serve his country in World War II.

“When the war broke out, I was already working at North American Aviation and helped build B-25s, but when I saw the people going in and getting in the service, and a friend of mine that worked there, we decided that we were going to join up.”

Max and his friend traveled to Minneapolis and began boot camp as apprentice seamen. Max says they enjoyed their time in the Great Lakes learning how the military works.

I did do my job, and I was true to my country.

Max Fulmer, WWII veteran

Max is now 100 years old, having recently celebrated a birthday, but he still remembers the four years he served the United States well.

“I was a plane captain on a passenger plane, 12 to 16 passengers, and we flew USO shows out to entertain the troops and I got to meet a lot of movie stars like that. My boss was Jerry Dorsey, he wasn’t a star but he had a couple brothers that were, Jimmy and Tommy. I did charter a plane for Phil Harris and Alice Faye the night that they flew from Las Vegas from Los Angeles to get married.”

Max also says he met the director of Disney’s ‘Dumbo’ during one of his first California flights.

When it comes to his experiences while in the military, Max says he’s one of the lucky ones.

“I was very fortunate, much more fortunate than so many other young men that went in, I never got shot at and I never shot at anyone.”

Max says many young men, that are now old men, have harsher stories than his from their time in war, but that God kept him out of any combat.

His good fortune extended to his personal life, as he raised four daughters and now has 11 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-granddaughter. Max says he’s taught his family members to serve the Lord, be true to one’s word, be kind to everyone, and to work hard.

Max shows his humility when he talks of other veterans, saying there are many who deserve recognition more than he does.

“I did do my job, and I was true to my country.”

Max will be part of the Veteran’s Day parade Monday in downtown Terre Haute.

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