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San Antonio WWII veteran celebrates 100th birthday

Roland E. Dullnig was born in the Alamo City December 3, 1921.

SAN ANTONIO — A San Antonio World War II veteran is celebrating his 100th birthday.

Roland E. Dullnig was born in the Alamo City December 3, 1921. Saturday, his family hosted a big celebration.

On display at the party were the fondest memories from Dullnig's last 100 years of life.

"Do you feel 100?" I asked Dullnig.

"No, no ma'am!" he replied.

During his time in the service, he served as Crew Chief with the 668th squadron of the 416th Bombardment Group

Credit: Photo courtesy: Dullnig Family

"When the invasion got started, [the U.S.] flew across in the planes, dropped bombs and came back. Some of them did," Dullnig recalled. "If there were any flak holes, I had to get the sheet metal people out there to patch them up before we let them fly again."

"Sometimes some of the guys didn't get back," he added. "There was too much flak over Germany and France."

According to a biography of Dullnig sent to KENS 5 by his family, the war veteran received the following medals: World War II Victory Medal, Good Conduct Medal, American Theater Campaign Medal, EAME Campaign Medal with 6 Bronze Stars, Bronze Star Medal, and Distinguished Unit Badge.

Credit: Photo courtesy: Dullnig Family

In May 2017, Dullnig participated in an Honor Flight to the nation's capital.  He paid visits to military memorials and was honored as a World War II veteran.

Last February, Dullnig also received the French Legion of Honor Medal for his role in helping liberate France from Germany in World War II. The French Legion of Honor is an order of distinction first established by Napoleon Bonaparte in May of 1802, according to the French Embassy of the United States. It is the highest decoration bestowed in France.

Credit: KENS

For the last 20 years, Dullnig has attended the Bomb Group's annual military reunions across the United States. 

At the birthday celebration Saturday, a representative of U.S. Congressman Joaquin Castro's office stopped by to drop off a Congressional Record, honoring Dullnig's joyous milestone.

When asked for his advice on living a long, healthy and fulfilling life, Dullnig said dancing kept him in shape.

"The wife and I did a lot of square dancing for many years," he explained. "We'd go once a week, sometimes two times a week to square dance. That's as good as exercising."

For the younger generations, Dullnig added a few more pieces of advice.

"Stay off the motorcycles," he said. "They're having problems with that. Try to stay away from the drinking."

Credit: Photo courtesy: Dullnig Family

Following his time in the military, Dullnig worked 40 years in the printing trade in San Antonio, as co-owner of the Fair Printing Company. His retirement from the company would start his next chapter as a printing teacher at McCollum High School, where he worked for six years.

When KENS 5 asked about his most memorable Christmas gift, Dullnig responded quickly by mentioning an old Buick he received upon graduating high school from Fox Tech. He said there were two fenders on the front with impressions on them to hold spare tires on each side. 

That Buick, he recalled, held countless memories.

"I did a few things I'm not gonna talk about," said Dullnig, as party attendees laughed. 

"I remember sliding and turning around, coming back the opposite way one time," he added, reminiscing about driving the car on a rainy day.

Dullnig was married to his beautiful wife, Evelyn, for nearly 69 years. 

Credit: Photo courtesy: Dullnig Family

In his spare time, Dullnig enjoys playing train dominoes, reading the newspaper and watching the news.

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