BILLINGS - America's World War II heroes are fading fast.
A fraction of the 16 million who served left alive today, so there was plenty of reason to celebrate this past weekend in Billings when one of those veterans marked her 100th birthday.
Lorraine Blank was surrounded by family and friends for the occasion.
She was one of approximately 350,000 U.S. women who served in the armed forces during the war — playing an important role.
"She served in the U.S. Navy. Women could not go aboard a ship, so she installed fuel lines and bomb bay doors in B-17s," said Jerry Hudson, VFW Post 1634 Commander.
Hudson says the VFW was honored to help host a party for Blank.
“She was so proud of her country, I found out. She just loves patriotism, loves everything about America, and she just had to serve. Her father had served, and she wanted to serve and what an honor to be there to see a 100-year-old lady that was a Navy veteran. It touched my heart,” Hudson says.
Just over 160,000 World War II are left alive, less than 3% of those who served in the war.