BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — It's a Veterans Voice that has carried nearly 3,000 miles from his childhood home of East Hampton, Long Island, to Bakersfield.
Bill 'Oroville' Crommett just celebrated his 96th birthday and took a moment to remember a lifetime of service beginning in World War II.
You can still hear a bit of that New York accent in Bill Crommett's voice.
Somewhat ironic that he would be tasked with setting up communication as a radio mechanic in the Army Air Corp.
Following basic training, bill took part in advanced training in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Texas before shipping out to the South Pacific.
His mission was just beginning loading up his unit and gear in a LST headed for Japan.
Crommett set up radio systems, so American pilots could talk with ground forces in Tokyo during the aftermath of the war.
And Bill says the citizens were actually happy to see them.
His service ended in 1946 and Bill returned to Long Island joining the East Hampton Fire Department where he served for nearly 50 years
Every year, he family would drive from New York to Florida for several weeks stopping off in Washington, D.C. along the way.
Bill and his wife, Mary, have been married for 74 years and moved to Bakersfield to be close to family.
But he always carries a piece of the Big Apple with him.
Bill has never been on the Honor Flight.
Despite the fact that the founder of Honor Flight Kern County is his daughter, Lili Crommett Marsh.
He said he's already been there and done that and would rather let others make the trip.