The celebration begins for Bob Stangier’s 100th birthday

By on Tuesday, December 19th, 2023 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

PENDLETON – The party started for native son Bob Stangier at the Pendleton Army National Guard Armory today (Tuesday). Maj. Gen. (ret) Fred Rees of Helix spoke and presented Stangier with two plaques honoring the World War II veteran.

One plaque is his Distinguished Flying Cross Award citation. The other is made up of photos of the B-25 monument at the armory that Stangier helped coordinate approximately 20 years ago.

“Bob reflects the very best of our veterans who have served proudly and returned to make the most out of their life in their community,” Rees said. “Bob is one of those whose life accelerated in this community for the better.”

Stangier flew 35 combat missions in Europe as a B-25 pilot. He was 21 when he won the flying cross on a mission over Italy.

During the ceremony, Stangier regaled the crowd with stories from his WWII days. With minimal flight training, he reported to the 381st Bomb Squadron in 1944 at the age of 21.

About 100 people attended the event, including a color guard ceremony by the Pendleton Veteran of Foreign Wars Let ’er Buck Post No. 922. The event concluded with attendees singing “Happy Birthday,” followed by a cake cutting with Stangier’s family.

It will not be the only chance people have to wish Stangier a happy birthday. He can be found at the Rainbow having coffee at 9:30 a.m. for the rest of the week. There’s a party in his honor at Oregon Grain Growers Distillery today (Wednesday) from 5-7 p.m. People can also find Stangier at the Pendleton Air Museum working his 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. shifts on Thursday and Friday.

Photo of Bob Stangier and his WWII uniform by Maj, Chris Clyne, ONG Public Relations.