East Texas WWII veteran celebrates 100th birthday

East Texas World War II veteran Paul Harrington talks about his 100th birthday and the memories he has gathered over his life.
Published: Aug. 13, 2023 at 5:35 PM CDT
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HIDEAWAY, Texas (KLTV) - An East Texas World War Two veteran celebrates his centennial of life, and friends and family from all over the country come to celebrate with him.

Hideaway Lake resident Paul Harrington had a two-day celebration for his 100th birthday, as people came long distances to celebrate with him.

“Lots of people had come. we had it two nights in a row. It was a honor for them to make that kind of a trip,” he says.

And did he ever have memorable events to share.

As a child he says he saw Charles Lindbergh land in Minnesota.

“He landed in Minneapolis on tour after he had flown the Atlantic,” Harrington says.

At 10 Paul says he flew with a pilot in the worlds fair in Chicago.

“My folks paid for me to go to the worlds fair in 1933. For a 10 year old kid, he’s pretty happy about being in that situation,” he says.

Harrington served in the war with the army air corps, doing the dangerous job of flying artillery spotter planes in Europe.

And came home without a scratch, though his aircraft often came back with holes in it.

“I don’t remember how many rifle fire but, poor marksmen on a moving target I guess,” the veteran says.

After the war he became an educator, teaching a variety of subjects.

“I taught agriculture, biology and physics,” Paul says.

And some of his former students arrived for his birthday.

“One of them, a former student of mine, he’s 80,” laughs Harrington.

But his favorite memory is a simple one.

“The birth of my grand-kids and great grand-kids,” the 100 year old says.

Mister Harrington continued to tutor ‘GED’ students until he reached the age of 97.