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WWII Vet Revisits Base

  • Published
  • By Airman First Class Wes Jones
  • 117th Air Refueling Wing
A World War II veteran and former member of the 106th Observation Squadron revisited the National Guard base here on October 24, 2014.

Jim Dobrovich, 94, served with the 106th Observation Squadron that is now recognized as the 106th Air Refueling Squadron. He flew on more than 100 flights in the Pacific as a crew chief.

"One time during a flight," said Dobrovich, "We were in an O-47 and coming in for approach, this is a single engine plane and the engine stopped, and that was it! The pilot looked at me and he turned around and pointed to the gas jets and within five seconds the engine cut back on... I wouldn't be here today if that engine wouldn't have cut back on."

Dobrovich currently lives in Illinois and had a wish to bring his three daughters back to one of the units where he once served to show them what he experienced. He reached out to the base with a hand written letter asking for permission to return with his three daughters, one of which lives in Hoover, Ala.

"I just wanted them to see what I was a part of," said Dobrovich. "When I was working with this squadron, I had never experienced such friendly people. They made you feel at home."

The veteran crew chief flew more than one hundred missions without any issues.

"I must have been pretty good because I flew 120 missions with no turn-backs... that's perfect," said Dobrovich.  "And when I left, there were no more missions. That's when they sent us home, the war ended in the Pacific."

Dobrovich made a trip this past year to Washington D.C. through Honor Flight Chicago, a non-profit organization that sends World War II Veterans to the nation's capital for a day of recognition.

Dobrovich was married to his wife, Charlotte, for 52 years. She died in April 2014 at the age of 96.

Dobrovich's life motto is "You can't lose anything..."