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96-year-old vet on hospice care gets Air Show wish granted

Jun 22, 2018, 6:36 PM | Updated: Feb 12, 2023, 7:06 pm

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah – Family members say 96-year-old Donald Nesbit isn’t always lucid enough to carry on a conversation, but over the last two years, he’s started talking about his time in the Army Air Force, during World War II.

It’s hard to know for sure how much time Donald Nesbit has left, which is why his family is grateful for the chance he got Friday to tour a B-25, and get an early look at the Warriors Over the Wasatch Air Show.

Donald Nesbit

“He’s my hero,” Nesbit’s son, Paul Nesbit said. “I think as he reflects on life, this is the time when he really has got those memories even more than before.”

Seeing that interest, staff at Nesbit’s hospice care, and various medical companies came together to get him to Hill Air Force Base Friday, bringing out a stretcher, and even a specialized wheelchair. Nesbit was lifted into a B-25J Bomber, similar to the B-24 Bomber he flew in as navigator.

“Just to be here and get in the B-25 was quite an experience for him,” Paul Nesbit said.

Donald Nesbit (right), talks with son, Peter Nesbit (left).

Nesbit was only 22 years-old when the plane he was in was shot down over Romania. He was held as a prisoner of war, and taken to Bucharest for interrogation. He was later released when Romania decided to fight back against Germany.

“He’s gone through a lot in his life,” Paul Nesbit said. “I’m blessed to have him be in such good health, even at 96.”

Paul Nesbit himself was a veteran of the first Gulf War, serving as a Navy pilot. He has two older brothers who served in Vietnam.

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96-year-old vet on hospice care gets Air Show wish granted