Correction: The festivities were arranged by Tony Fisher, not David Skolnik.

There was lots of commotion last Friday, May 15, at the Healdsburg Senior Living retirement community. Though the community is sheltered-in-place and under strict no-visitor rules, it was home to a lively flight display. A World War II-era fighter plane buzzed overhead and the outdoor area near the community garden was full of spaced apart staff and residents with some holding a spread-out large U.S. American flag.

It was all to honor resident Del Tiedeman, a surviving World War II fighter pilot who will turn 100 next month on June 24.

The plane was a completely refurbished 1942 DC-3 owned by Benovia Winery owner Joe Anderson. The day’s festivities were arranged by Tony Fisher.

Tiedeman insisted on showing a visitor his room full of World War II memorabilia and models of the planes he flew during the war. He piloted crew and paratrooper transfer missions during five separate invasions over Europe in just five months. When it was time for a birthday photo, Tiedeman briefly removed his COVID-19 face mask. The celebration also was held to mark next week’s Memorial Day.


Del Tiedeman

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