At 99, Pearl Harbor survivor back at home after being struck by a car in San Clemente

Retired Flying force pilot Col. Robert Thacker, a 99-year-old survivor of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and also an American army aviation pioneer, is recuperating at his San Clemente house after being struck by an auto Dec. 17.

He returned home on Sunday, Jan. 7, from Goal Medical facility after a three-week remain, saying thanks to the doctors as well as clinical staff for the treatment he obtained. “& ldquo; They couldn & rsquo; t have actually been nicer or more understanding,” & rdquo; he said. Thacker said he is bent on continuing his recuperation, with help from his little girl and his caregiver, so he could celebrate his 100th birthday celebration on Feb. 21.

  • Retired Air Force Col. Robert Thacker with his medals including the World War II Silver Star, upper left, and Distinguished Flying Cross, upper center, in San Clemente on Tuesday, December 5, 2017. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Retired Air Force Col. Robert Thacker with his medals including the Globe War II Silver Star, top left, and also Distinguished Traveling Cross, top center, in San Clemente on Tuesday, December 5, 2017. (Picture by Paul Rodriguez, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Retired Air Force Col. Robert Thacker, 99, recuperates at home on Jan. 8 after being struck by a car and spending three weeks at Mission Hospital. (Photo by Fred Swegles, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Retired Air Pressure Col. Robert Thacker, 99, recovers in your home on Jan. 8 after being struck by a car and spending 3 weeks at Objective Medical facility. (Picture by Fred Swegles, Orange Region Register/SCNG)

  • San Clemente Mayor Tim Brown salutes retired Air Force Col. Robert Thacker, 99, on his service at a Dec. 5, 2017, City Council meeting. A packed audience gave Thacker a standing ovation. (File photo by Fred Swegles, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    San Clemente Mayor Tim Brown salutes retired Air Pressure Col. Robert Thacker, 99, on his solution at a Dec. 5, 2017, City board conference. A packed target market gave Thacker a standing ovation. (Documents image by Fred Swegles, Orange Area Register/SCNG)

  • Retired Air Force Col. Robert Thacker in San Clemente on Tuesday, December 5, 2017. Thacker was a lieutenant in the Army Air Corps on Dec. 6, 1941 when he piloted a B-17 from California into the middle of the attack on Pearl Harbor. (File photo by Paul Rodriguez, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Retired Flying Force Col. Robert Thacker in San Clemente on Tuesday, December 5, 2017. Thacker was a lieutenant in the Military Air Corps on Dec. 6, 1941 when he piloted a B-17 from The golden state into the center of the assault on Pearl Harbor. (Documents image by Paul Rodriguez, Orange Region Register/SCNG)

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Thacker got a standing ovation at a Dec. 5 San Clemente City board conference, where he was recognized 2 days before the 76th anniversary of Japan’& rsquo; s attack on Pearl Harbor

. The Sheriff’& rsquo; s Division claimed Thacker was walking in a crosswalk the mid-day of Dec. 17 when struck by an SUV whose driver said she was turning from El Camino Real into Avenida San Gabriel with a green left-turn arrowhead.

The chauffeur was not recognized, neither held, Constable’& rsquo; s Lt. Mike Peters claimed. The accident stays under examination.

Thacker was taken to the healthcare facility with a damaged left foot, lacerations to both sides of his body, a laceration sideways of his head and also slight blood loss on the mind, the Constable’& rsquo; s Department said. He said on Monday, Jan. 8, he keeps in mind little about the crash “& ldquo; except I wound up with a bruised head and also in the hospital.”

“& rdquo; & ldquo; In fact, I am excellent!” & rdquo; he replied emphatically when asked just how he was doing. “& ldquo; Points simply occur. We simply make the best of what we have.”

& rdquo; Told that he was looking excellent, he responded, “& ldquo; I was a handsome young person in attire.”

& rdquo; Thacker was among 11 pilots who transported unarmed B-17 bombers throughout the Pacific from San Francisco to Hawaii the evening of Dec. 6, 1941, getting here in the early morning as Pearl Harbor was under aerial attack.

Thacker handled to land his B-17 safely, despite it being bombarded and also crippled throughout descent. He took place to serve World Battle II combat scenic tours in the Pacific and Europe in B-17s, a scenic tour in Korea with a B-29 and also identified high-altitude reconnaissance objectives in Vietnam.

After World War II, Thacker acted as an examination pilot.

“& ldquo; In 1947, he tested Betty Jo, a North American F-82 Double Mustang that was named after his partner,” & rdquo; San Clemente Mayor Tim Brown stated in a Dec. 5 recommendation to Thacker. “& ldquo; This trip represented the initial continuously test of a totally laden boxer in between Honolulu and New York City and, to this particular day, holds the record as the longest as well as fastest, average of 350 mph, trip by a propeller-driven fighter.”

& rdquo; Thacker flew the F-82 for 5,051 miles on Feb. 27-28, 1947, in “the longest nonstop trip ever made by a propeller-driven boxer,” the Flying force said. The plane is on display screen, along with Thacker’& rsquo; s consistent, at the United States Flying Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio.

Thacker stated he has actually recognized and also liked San Clemente since 1932. When he retired after 31 years with the Military and also Air Force, “& ldquo; where do you assume I was available in 1970?” & rdquo; Thacker stated. & ldquo; Right here in my stunning San Clemente.”

& rdquo; Asked if he intends to resume the strolls around community for which he is recognized, he claimed, “& ldquo; I may go chase women on the coastline.”
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