SARATOGA, N.Y. - A 94-year-old Wilton resident was named 'Veteran of the Year' on Saturday at the New York State Military Museum in Saratoga.
Charles Evans was a Captain in the U.S. Army Air Corps, and served in World War II, in the European Theater of Operations.
Evans enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps just prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor, in December 1941.
He trained in California, as an Air Corps Cadet initially in AT-6's, and then moved on to B-24 Liberators.
In 1944, Evans was assigned to the 409th Squadron, 93rd Bomb Group, 20th Combat Wing, 8th Air Force.
After the war, he embarked on a career as an American Airlines Pilot, flying everything from the DC-33 to the Boeing 707.
Now 94-years-old, Charles lives with his wife Elsie, in Wilton, New York. When News10 visited the couple at home, he showed us his combat card with more than 30 missions listed from 1944. "It's all right there, in that piece of paper," he said. "How we survived I'll never know."
The 'Veteran of the Year' award was presented to Charles Evans by the New York State Military Museum and the Capital District of New York, Chapter of the Association of the U.S. Army.
Congressman Chris Gibson was among those that attended the ceremony, in honor of Evans.
"All I ever wanted to do was fly airplanes," said Evans. "It's all I wanted, and it's what I did."
During WWII Charles recalled, "We lost contact with the rest of the Air Force."
However, he and his group of eight men continued forward. "We were expecting enemy fire to attack us," he added.
As luck would have it, the enemy used up all their ammunition before Charles and his group flew over the target. Their delayed take-off saved them. "They weren't expecting us," he said.
His wife Elsie told us,"When he went I didn't know if I was ever going to see him."
He made it back and some 60 years later recognized for his efforts.