A D-Day pilot just celebrated his 102nd birthday and attributed some of his long life to his enjoyment of great wine, among other things.
Due to lockdown, Harry Gamper, who turned 102 on July 20th, was unable to attend his 100th birthday party. However, he made sure he had twice as much fun this year.
Harry, a father of two and a war hero, flew for the RAF during World War II and received medals for his duty in France and Germany, including one for the Battle of the Atlantic.
Harry completed more than 1,000 hours of flight experience while serving in the RAF, piloting Warwick, Wellington, and Catalina flying boats before departing the service in 1946.
In honor of his late wife Annalisa, with whom he spent warm-weather vacations in Italy, Harry celebrated his birthday with an Italian theme.
Harry declared, ‘Life is lovely, and I’ve always lived it to the full. ‘I enjoy fine wine, nice food, music, and the arts. The people in your life and all of these things are what really count in life.
I anticipated my Italian meal and perhaps joining in on a sing-along to some classic Italian music.
He was born on July 20th, 1920, in Surrey. The Battle of the Atlantic, which lasted from 1939 until the last few months of 1945, was the war’s longest-lasting military operation. During that period, 175 RAF planes were lost in anti-submarine sorties.
In the late 2000s, Harry retired and moved to a home in the Straiton, Ayrshire, town. There, he took up gardening and loved being close to the ocean.
The recollections Harry has of D-Day are ‘amazing, I’ll never forget it,’ he said. ‘Nobody was allowed to leave the airport for the whole week leading up to D-Day. So, something significant was about to occur, he remarked.
I believe you could have virtually walked across the English Channel since so many boats were crossing there.’