WWII pilot turns 95, requests to fly plane again for his birthday

FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – Former South Carolina Representative Ed Young turned 95 Monday, and the congressman and former pilot had one special birthday request, to fly a plane again.

Mr. Young is a man with a pretty impressive resume.

He’s a former congressman, World War II Veteran, and even a Sunday school teacher, but his passion is flying.

“It’s a different world up there. You’re away from the world, and you’re up there by yourself. It’s exciting,” said Young.

Excitement he hasn’t been able to experience in years, but on Monday, on his 95th birthday, he took back the pilot’s seat.

Young was a fighter pilot in World War II and one of the only fighter pilots from the war still living.

“I’ll never forget opening up his log book and seeing that he had hundreds of hours of combat time. Now, how many pilots can say they have World War II combat time? Very few,” said Joey Rogers, a Pilot at the Florence International Airport.

Rogers says when Young was asked what he wanted for his 95th birthday, his only wish was to fly again.

“During the war, I was a fighter pilot in the South Pacific. So, I developed a love for flying.  I’ve survived all my bad mistakes, and I’m just delighted to be out here today,” said Young.

With the help of the Florence airport staff and his daughter there to watch, Young took control.

After a smooth ride and several laughs, a very happy birthday boy landed safely on the ground.

“He hasn’t lost it. He’s still got it. He did a good job, a very good job,” said Rogers.

Young says he’s excited to have had the opportunity to spend his birthday in the sky but is looking forward to spending some time with his loved ones on the ground to celebrate another year.

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