WWII veteran gunner Dick Miralles relives his wartime flying in a restored SBD Dauntless dive bomber 80 years after he fought in the war. The aircraft is maintained and operated by CAF Airbase Georgia in Peachtree City.

PEACHTREE CITY — WWII Veteran Dick Miralles slid into the gunner’s seat of the SBD Dauntless Dive Bomber almost as easily as he did 80 years ago in the South Pacific. Miralles, 98, was reliving his wartime experience in a restored SBD operated by CAF Airbase Georgia in Peachtree City.

Miralles flew in the rear, or gunner, seat of SBDs in Guadalcanal in 1943. He survived the war front and supported flight testing in Hawaii until he returned to civilian life, serving for 30 years with the California Department of Forestry (now known as CAL FIRE). His memoirs are recorded in his book, “War and Fire.”

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