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This 100-year-old Marine vet fought in WWII and Korea. Now he’s being honored for his place in Corps history

Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton has played a major role in military history over the past 77 years, and John Farritor is one of the rare men who has seen that history unfold from the start.

The Vista, California veteran, who turned 100 on Tuesday, is one of the few surviving Marine veterans who marched 55 miles from Camp Elliott in San Diego to christen the newly opened base near Oceanside in September 1942.

He also fought with Camp Pendleton-based divisions in some of the Corps’ most defining and deadly battles of World War II and the Korean War, including at Iwo Jima, Bougainville, the Pusan Perimeter, the Inchon Landing and the Chosin Reservoir.

“John was a part of history with a capital H,” said local historian Linda Dudik of San Marcos, who runs the historical website The World War II Experience. Dudik taught history for 34 years at Palomar College and has devoted her post-retirement years since 2009 to collecting and re-telling the stories of aging war veterans like Farritor.

Nattily attired in his medal-bedecked dress blues uniform and cap, Farritor was guest of honor at a birthday celebration Tuesday morning at Pacifica Senior Living in Vista, where he has lived since 2010. A group of young Marines from Camp Pendleton, as well as friends and fellow residents gathered to hear about Farritor’s Marine Corps experiences in a slide-show presentation presented by Dudik, a longtime friend.

Farritor sang along to his “Happy Birthday” song and quipped to the audience: “I enjoyed the first 100 years. But I don’t know what I’ll do from here on out.”

Retired U.S. Marine 1st Sgt. John Farritor gives a speech during his 100th birthday celebration at the Pacifica Senior Living Center in Vista, …read more

Read more here:: Task & Purpose

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