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World War II POW enjoys 102nd birthday

Mike Kovich has been through a lot in his life, but that hasn’t stopped him from having a sense of humor or from having fun. At 102 years old, he is still sharp as a tack and sweet as cherry pie.

“I feel great! I’m still celebrating. I started the 15th and today. We’re going to figure out something else I can do for my birthday,” Kovich said.

You’d probably never guess by talking to Kovich that he’s 102 years old. Or that these eyes have seen such unimaginable things.

Born in a coal mining town in West Virginia, Kovich was one of ten children. All five of his brothers served in the armed forces.

Kovich was a top gunner on a B-17 in what was then known as the Army-Air Force. He participated in the first raid over Berlin.

On March 4, 1944, Kovich’s plane went down in Germany.

“When the parachute opened I, you know, stopped right fast from falling and my wristwatch stopped at 12 o’clock England time. That’s when the plane was shot down,” Kovich said.

Kovich became a prisoner of war for 13 months.

“The saddest thing about it, a lot of boys didn’t make it home,” Kovich said.

Eventually, Kovich did marrying and eventually settling in Palm Springs.

“My wife and I come out here for vacation in ’54. There were dirt roads hardly anything down here,” Kovich said. He said after the war, he lived his life to the fullest and has no regrets.

“I’m having fun. I mean to me, I don’t think I’m 102. I’m just a young man. That’s the way I feel,” Kovich said.

Kovich said his key to longevity is watermelon something that has to do with a memory from his childhood and a little “hanky panky.”

KESQ News Team


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