World War II veteran receives hundreds of cards for 102nd birthday

Posted: Updated:

Sometimes people can really rise to the occasion. A World War II veteran learned this lesson after receiving hundreds of birthday cards to celebrate his 102nd birthday.

Mike Deiderich will turn 102 on Nov. 20. He said that his wish was to get 102 birthday cards. So the managers at Care One Assisted Living Facility in Paramus posted a request on Facebook for cards, and they soon began coming from all over the country – over 1,000 of them.

“It’ll take me two hours to read all that,” Deiderich says.

Deiderich has lived a long and colorful life. He was a nose gunner on the Army B24 Liberator Dorothy K Special in World War II, where he flew 35 bombing missions over Germany. He says that he remembers it vividly.

He says that there was the time that he found his friend unconscious midflight due to his oxygen mask becoming detached. Deiderich was able to save his life.

“A few more seconds and he probably would have been gone,” Deiderich says.

He also recalls the time he had to walk a catwalk midflight to secure bombs that hadn't dropped as they prepared for a dangerous landing.

"The bomb bay doors open and the catwalk's [not very] wide, but I did safety wire all three of them,” he says.

And there was also the time that he took two pieces of flak to his stomach on the 35th and final mission.

“When the pilot landed the plane, he had an ambulance waiting for me that took me to the hospital,” Deiderich says.

After serving in the military, Deiderich worked as a puppeteer, doing performances in New York City and at USO shows for the troops. And he got married to his wife Dorothy, a professional singer. They have been married for 66 years and still going strong.

Deiderich says that he is grateful for his life and grateful for all of those who are helping to celebrate his birthday.

  • Top StoriesNewsMore>>

  • Parts of New Jersey could see up to 4 inches of snow Saturday

    Parts of New Jersey could see up to 4 inches of snow Saturday

    Friday, January 17 2020 12:40 PM EST2020-01-17 17:40:52 GMT
    Portions of the Garden State are expected to see some snow Saturday.
    Portions of the Garden State are expected to see some snow Saturday.
  • Family of slain Jersey City detective receives much-needed gift -- a new minivan

    Family of slain Jersey City detective receives much-needed gift -- a new minivan

    Friday, January 17 2020 10:38 AM EST2020-01-17 15:38:15 GMT
    Family of slain Jersey City detective receives much-needed gift -- a new minivanFamily of slain Jersey City detective receives much-needed gift -- a new minivan
    Family of slain Jersey City detective receives much-needed gift -- a new minivanFamily of slain Jersey City detective receives much-needed gift -- a new minivan
    The family of Detective Joseph Seals, who was killed last month in Jersey City, will receive another much-needed gift -- a new minivan from the Route 23 Honda Dealership in Pompton Plains.
    The family of Detective Joseph Seals, who was killed last month in Jersey City, will receive another much-needed gift -- a new minivan from the Route 23 Honda Dealership in Pompton Plains.
  • Man charged with arson in massive Bound Brook fire to remain in jail

    Man charged with arson in massive Bound Brook fire to remain in jail

    Friday, January 17 2020 12:19 PM EST2020-01-17 17:19:35 GMT
    Man charged with arson in massive Bound Brook fire to remain in jailMan charged with arson in massive Bound Brook fire to remain in jail
    Man charged with arson in massive Bound Brook fire to remain in jailMan charged with arson in massive Bound Brook fire to remain in jail
    A judge has ordered the man suspected of starting a fire that destroyed multiple buildings in Bound Brook’s downtown, displacing dozens of area residents, to remain in jail because he says he is a danger to the community.
    A judge has ordered the man suspected of starting a fire that destroyed multiple buildings in Bound Brook’s downtown, displacing dozens of area residents, to remain in jail because he says he is a danger to the community.
  • New Jersey SlideshowsGalleriesMore>>

  • It's National Dress Up Your Pet Day - Submit your photos

    It's National Dress Up Your Pet Day - Submit your photos

    Tuesday, January 14 2020 5:36 AM EST2020-01-14 10:36:44 GMT
    Happy National Dress Up Your Pet Day! Do you dress up your pet?Happy National Dress Up Your Pet Day! Do you dress up your pet?
    Happy National Dress Up Your Pet Day! Do you dress up your pet?Happy National Dress Up Your Pet Day! Do you dress up your pet?
    According to the National Retail Federation, Americans were expected to spend $490 million on costumes for their pets this past Halloween. But there's another special day to celebrate your furry friend!
    According to the National Retail Federation, Americans were expected to spend $490 million on costumes for their pets this past Halloween. But there's another special day to celebrate your furry friend!
  • Pitt, Sandler and 'The Irishman' celebrated at NBR Awards

    Pitt, Sandler and 'The Irishman' celebrated at NBR Awards

    The National Board of Review assembled many of the regulars of this year’s awards season in the annual, untelevised gala dinner at Cipriani’s 42nd Street in midtown Manhattan.The National Board of Review assembled many of the regulars of this year’s awards season in the annual, untelevised gala dinner at Cipriani’s 42nd Street in midtown Manhattan.
    The National Board of Review assembled many of the regulars of this year’s awards season in the annual, untelevised gala dinner at Cipriani’s 42nd Street in midtown Manhattan.The National Board of Review assembled many of the regulars of this year’s awards season in the annual, untelevised gala dinner at Cipriani’s 42nd Street in midtown Manhattan.
    The National Board of Review assembled many of the regulars of this year’s awards season in the annual, untelevised gala dinner at Cipriani’s 42nd Street in midtown Manhattan.
    The National Board of Review assembled many of the regulars of this year’s awards season in the annual, untelevised gala dinner at Cipriani’s 42nd Street in midtown Manhattan.
  • Stars hit the red carpet for the premiere of 'Like a Boss'

    Stars hit the red carpet for the premiere of 'Like a Boss'

    The stars of the film "Like a Boss" hit the red carpet Tuesday in New York City for the premiere.
    The stars of the film "Like a Boss" hit the red carpet Tuesday in New York City for the premiere.
sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."