Military veteran celebrates 104th birthday in Tarboro

TARBORO, N.C. (WITN) – A Tarboro man is celebrating his 104th birthday on Wednesday, marking a major milestone in his eastern Carolina town.

Gordon Campbell is being called one of the state’s oldest Veterans and is proving he is not your average Joe.

He was surrounded by friends and family at Edgecombe Health Center on Wednesday for the special celebration.

His grandson Tom LePera recalls one of his fondest memories.

“He was sent to New Mexico to hire an architect to build a building next to the assembly facility next to the lunar module and also hire 120 software engineers and he’s got a lot of stories about Grumman, a lot of stories about World War II,” says LePera.

Campbell says he began his service in the Merchant Marines and went on to change history by working in the flight-testing department with Grumman Aircraft in New York.

He says he is happy to beat the odds and even at his age, still have a healthy sense of humor.

“I wanted to enjoy as far as I could and so far my plan has worked perfectly, I’m enjoying all this time that most people would be pushing up the daisies,” says Campbell.

Campbell was honored for his military service and presented with an American flag pin by the Sergeant at Arms with the American Legion Post 19 in Tarboro.

His daughter Pat LePera says her father has achieved a lot in life but nothing will top his ability to put on a smile the faces of others.

“He used to DJ every Friday night. He would take his stereo equipment down to the auditorium and play music and try to get everybody to dance from 7 to 8 every Friday night” says LePera.

Campbell is the proud father of four children, eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

In case you were trying to do the math, Gordon Campbell was born on the third day of April in the year 1920.