It took more than 70 years, but an area World War II veteran just received the Purple Heart. Jack DeLier, 95, graduated from U.S. Army Air Corps. Flight School in Chickasha in 1942.
DeLier went on to fly 65 dangerous bombing missions around Europe, until he was injured during an attack in 1944.
After a ten-year stint working as a sales executive for Universal Pictures, DeLier began working for our very own KWTV News 9 in 1954. DeLier would go on to be President and General Manager of News 9 from 1960 until 1982.
While he said the military told him years earlier he would be receiving the Purple Heart Medal after his stint in the military, DeLier said he never lost sleep over never receiving it. A year and a half ago though, then Congressman James Lankford began the paperwork to get Jack DeLier that Purple Heart due to him for all those years. The medal arrived a few weeks ago by mail.
Jack said the military offered him a ceremony at Tinker Air Force Base. “And I thought at 95 years, my God just mail it to me,” he chuckled Friday afternoon.
Jack's now 69-year-old son Mike DeLier also received the Purple Heart back in 1969. Mike was a First Lieutenant in the Marine Corps., when he took heavy amounts of shrapnel in his face and left arm during a mission in South Vietnam in 1968. He spent 10 months in a naval hospital overseas. “I got injured, but Hell everybody got injured,” Mike said from his father's living room Friday.
Jack said he's always been proud of his son. “I'm proud that both of us were able to serve our country, especially in the Vietnam conflict, where my kid didn't run off to Sweden or some other place to avoid the draft.”
About the Vietnam War, Mike DeLier spoke like a boss. “We didn't lose the war. The country might have lost the war through the politicians, but our service members never… Hell, we never lost a battle of any kind.”
Mike DeLier went on to serve as KWTV Station Manager in the 1970's and 80's. He currently owns and operates his own television news and sales consulting company.