Supply drop gives Sask. WWII vet cake for 100th birthday

Don Couch got a special present from the 435 Transport and Rescue Squadron over the weekend for his 100th birthday.

Couch was one of the original members of the squadron

Donald Couch is a veteran of the Second World War and celebrated his 100th birthday on Saturday. (Supplied by Marg Leduc)

Marg Leduc had originally reached out to the 435 Transport and Rescue Squadron in hope of getting a birthday letter for her father's 100th birthday.

Leduc was told the squad could do something better, if the stars aligned — they could perform a fly by for Donald Couch, a veteran of the Second World War from Lucky Lake, Sask.
Don Couch smiles as his cake is unveiled. (Supplied by Marg Leduc)

"It wasn't until the actual morning of his birthday that we found out it was a go-ahead," Leduc said.

Leduc said her father was one of the original members of the rescue squadron.

Couch had been part of the Royal Canadian Air Force for about five years, and was stationed in India where he helped drop supplies to locals as well as the British Fourteenth Army. 

She said she kept the potential flyby a secret until a week before Couch's birthday, which was Feb. 3.

"I thought it was a great privilege that they would do such a thing," Couch said.

Couch said he thinks all of Lucky Lake was out for his birthday celebration that afternoon.

"A great big crowd came to the hall," Couch said. "I had a great day."

Leduc was told the weather conditions would have to be right and they wouldn't be able to conduct the flyby if they were called in for a rescue mission. 

She said a CC-130 Hercules did three flybys. The first dropped streamers; the second dropped a birthday cake for Couch and the third flyby saw the plane dip its wings as a nod to Couch.

"I'll tell you — the emotion around there was amazing. Everybody was crying."

Lucky Lake is 132 kilometres southwest of Saskatoon.

      1 of 0

      With files from CBC Radio's Afternoon Edition and Samanda Brace