CORONADO, Calif. (KGTV) — It was a happy birthday celebration Sunday for a Coronado veteran who turned 98 years old.
World War II U.S. Coast Guard veteran Elizabeth "Gena" Fischle watched from the 1700 block of Visalia Row as people drove past the home, honking, cheering, waving signs, and wishing her the best.
Even the pandemic couldn't keep her family and Honor Flight San Diego from celebrating the milestone.
Fischle served as a U.S. Coast Guard SPAR (Semper Paratus Always Ready) during WWII.
She saw a Coast Guard recruiting poster of Uncle Sam saying, "We Want You” so she enlisted in the service. Honor Flight SD said Fischle went to boot camp in Sheepshead Bay, New York, and was later assigned as a Storekeeper at a unit in Seattle, WA.
When the war ended in 1945, her supervisor told her that there was no funding to keep her on active duty, so the Coast Guard released her from active duty in 1946.
“I would have stayed in if the military had kept me,” said Fischle.
Gena went on her Honor Flight in 2017, and in 2019 she was honored by U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Diego and Women's Leadership Initiative for Women’s History Month.
Honor Flight SD hopes to get 98 cards to celebrate Fischle's birthday. To mail a card, send it to Gena Fischle, 1527 First Street, #W102, Coronado, CA 92118.
All of us at ABC 10News wish you a happy birthday, Mrs. Fischle. Thank you for your service.