TRANSIT ALERT

Overhead wire issues cause disruptions on Amtrak, New Jersey Transit lines

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

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.

News 12 Staff

Nov 12, 2019, 1:00 AM

Updated 1,653 days ago

Share:

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.


More from News 12
2:07
Overhead wire issues cause disruptions on Amtrak, New Jersey Transit lines

Overhead wire issues cause disruptions on Amtrak, New Jersey Transit lines

1:47
STORM WATCH: Thunderstorms expected for Thursday morning in parts of New Jersey

STORM WATCH: Thunderstorms expected for Thursday morning in parts of New Jersey

1:36
State police: 2 dead in I-80 crash involving jackknifed tractor-trailer in Hackensack

State police: 2 dead in I-80 crash involving jackknifed tractor-trailer in Hackensack

0:28
State police seek information about woman missing since April 13

State police seek information about woman missing since April 13

2:38
Shamong woman says she won $2M jackpot from Atlantic City slot machine but casino won’t pay

Shamong woman says she won $2M jackpot from Atlantic City slot machine but casino won’t pay

0:54
Newark mayor urges Gov. Murphy to veto public record reform bill

Newark mayor urges Gov. Murphy to veto public record reform bill

0:22
Body found at the Port Newark Container Terminal

Body found at the Port Newark Container Terminal

0:40
Officials: American flags ‘stolen’ off veterans’ graves in Neptune likely taken by animals

Officials: American flags ‘stolen’ off veterans’ graves in Neptune likely taken by animals

2:28
What does the Biden administration tapping into gas reserves mean for NJ’s fuel supply?

What does the Biden administration tapping into gas reserves mean for NJ’s fuel supply?

0:21
Car bursts into flames outside Mount Olive nail salon

Car bursts into flames outside Mount Olive nail salon

0:30
GoFundMe campaign raises thousands for Morristown woman who lost leg after falling on train tracks

GoFundMe campaign raises thousands for Morristown woman who lost leg after falling on train tracks

0:29
Trial of Sen. Bob Menendez takes a weeklong break after jurors get stuck in elevator

Trial of Sen. Bob Menendez takes a weeklong break after jurors get stuck in elevator

1:30
Police: Man shot at Glen Rock’s Wilde Memorial Park

Police: Man shot at Glen Rock’s Wilde Memorial Park

0:33
Lauryn Hill's classic 'Miseducation' album tops list of best albums of all time

Lauryn Hill's classic 'Miseducation' album tops list of best albums of all time

0:23
Biden releasing 1 million barrels of gasoline from New Jersey, Main reserve in bid to lower prices at pump

Biden releasing 1 million barrels of gasoline from New Jersey, Main reserve in bid to lower prices at pump

0:22
Prosecutor: Remains found in Ridgefield Park creek identified as man who went missing in 1982

Prosecutor: Remains found in Ridgefield Park creek identified as man who went missing in 1982

New Jersey State Police 'never meaningfully grappled' with discriminatory practices, official finds

New Jersey State Police 'never meaningfully grappled' with discriminatory practices, official finds

0:24
Airbnb crackdown ahead of Memorial Day weekend to prevent ‘disruptive parties’

Airbnb crackdown ahead of Memorial Day weekend to prevent ‘disruptive parties’

0:43
36th Fleet Week kicks off in NYC with Salute to Ships at Fort Hamilton

36th Fleet Week kicks off in NYC with Salute to Ships at Fort Hamilton

1:31
What's Cooking: Uncle Giuseppe's Marketplace's spring frittata

What's Cooking: Uncle Giuseppe's Marketplace's spring frittata