93-year-old Veteran returns to college campus - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

93-year-old Veteran returns to college campus

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MT. VERNON (KWWL) -

93-year-old Darrell Gustaveson attended naval flight prep school at Cornell College in Mount Vernon in 1942.

For the first time since college, Darrell visited the campus today.

"This has been all revamped and put walls and stuff in because this was all open down through here," he said as he walked into Bowman-Carter Hall.

For Darrell, the visit isn't just any trip down memory lane, it's where his time in the Navy began.

After enlisting in Kansas City, he was put into naval flight prep school at Cornell.

Darrell was determined to climb all four flights of stairs to see his old dorm room, he says he doesn't remember it being that far up when he was just 20-years-old.

"I don't remember it being this small but it could have been of course we were in bunks we had upper and lower bunks like this," he told us.

Memories aren't the only thing Darrell has, he also has many keepsakes.

"Still dirty, sweaty and but the goggles they went by the wayside sometime during the way," he said showing us his helmet.

Today Darrell took time to talk with Cornell students who are working on a project involving the history of campus.

The students were able to track down Darrell's old transcript.

"It's, I mean it's fascinating it's kind of indescribable I mean there's only so much you can get from reading old bits of paper," says Hanna Robertson, a Cornell College student.

The students, getting hands on learning, from one generation to another.

Darrell says WWII was over by the time he finished his training, but after leaving Cornell, he went on to train in four more states and was able to fly five different airplanes.

Originally from Ottumwa, Darrell says when he was discharged from the Navy in 1945, he chose to come back to Iowa and work. 

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