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Local World War II veteran to be presented with Congressional Gold Medal

Hannah Swayze • Updated Mar 14, 2018 at 8:16 PM

The last place you want to be when you're on a small plane during World War II is right at the tail of it, in the dark, with only the moonlight to see by.

However, that's exactly where local veteran Dana Anderson was during World War II. 

It's for that bravery that Anderson, who is now 91, will be honored next week in Washington, D.C., when Congress presents him with a Congressional Gold Medal. It is the highest award that can be given to a civilian and the highest that Congress can bestow.

"It's going to be a great honor," Anderson said. "We're privileged to be given this award. It makes me feel great."

During WWII, Anderson was part of 22 groups of the 865th Bombardment Squadron Bombers and crew members sent on secret missions to drop ammunition, supplies and other items to allies and the French Resistance. He was sent on 16 missions where he was a tail gunner in a B-24 flying at low altitudes with next to no light under the code name "Carpetbagger."

It wasn't until 1983, nearly 40 years after the war, that he was allowed to tell anyone what he did.

Congress will present the medal to Anderson along with seven other "Carpetbaggers," on March 21 in a ceremony what will be livestreamed.

"I'm really proud of him. I didn't know him then but I'm really proud of him and what he did," said Doris, Anderson's wife.

Anderson spent 26 1/2 years in the air force before he left the U.S. Army Air Corps with the rank of senior master sergeant.

In 2016, Anderson and the others were given the France’s National Order of the Legion of Honour for their aid in the French Resistance. The Legion of Honour is the highest French order for military and civil merits.

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