PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (WATE) — As the World War II population fades, the last WWII veteran in Pigeon Forge is thriving.
At 93 years young, James Householder is a very modest man and living an honest life.
He was just 18 when he entered the Army in 1944. He went overseas to serve.
Householder has purposely not donned his walls with any memories or awards of World War II. He says he wants leaves the past behind him.
Some stories, however, are just too vivid not to share.
Householder remembers when he and his fellow servicemen shot down a German plane.
“All of a sudden we saw planes flying no more than 50 feet above the ground,” he said.
And within seconds, his gun fired, and he saw the explosion.
“I’m satisfied – we shot that plane down,” he said.
His story is mentioned in Bill O’Reilly’s book, “Killing Patton.” Householder was overseas until the war was over and on his way back, he was told he would be shipped to the Pacific theater. But it was another landmark that was a sight for sore eyes.
“That’s when we realized where we were. We had no idea where we were going; then we saw the Statue of Liberty, and we knew where we were then,” Householder said.
He knew he was home for good.
Since then Householder has been looking for a certain reminder of his time in the service. He’s been all over the country looking for uniforms but hasn’t had any luck. But then he was given an exact replica of his uniform.
All this a quiet reminder of a time that was all but quiet for the entire world.
“It’s a great honor really to serve your country, a great honor,” Householder said.
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