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Retired Navy Admiral Celebrates 99th Birthday With Surprise Parade

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A Navy veteran who used to land aircraft on carriers in the dead of night during WWII celebrated his 99th birthday Friday with a drive-by celebration in Del Mar, California.

It was a milestone birthday for Admiral Don Shelton. Friends and families turned out by car to help celebrate. And although drive-by birthdays are about the only way to celebrate with people outside of your household these days, it turns out COVID-19 was never the reason for Admiral Shelton's party on wheels. A surprise birthday parade was always the plan for ringing in the veteran’s big 99.

Shelton walked out of his house and was met by blaring trumpets and birthday banners posted on his garage door.

Shelton served in the Navy for 40 years and piloted planes during WWII. A friend told us he landed aircraft on carriers at night, a difficult skill to master given the light limitations onboard aircraft carriers. It was his skill that helped pave the way for later pilots.

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More than just friends and family came by to celebrate with Shelton. Members of the community and veteran groups including Honor Flight, San Diego Veterans Coalition, and American Legion Post 416 came by to salute the admiral with honks and cheers.

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