KVRR Travels to “Town of the Year” Ellendale, North Dakota

KVRR's Rob Kupec & Danielle Church visit Ellendale for the day

ELLENDALE, ND — KVRR Chief Meteorologist Rob Kupec along with reporter Danielle Church are in Ellendale for our “Town of the Year” celebration.

There’s plenty of history here in Ellendale and 101-year-old John Wheelihan has lived through most of it.

He served in World War II from 1941 to 1945, flying all kinds of warplanes.

He was a second lieutenant and then became a captain in the Air Force.

When the war was over, Wheelihan became a Major in the U.S. Air Force Reserve.

He says it was never his intention to fight in the war.

Wheelihan says, “I kind of think that was the biggest incentive at that time. There was no war in sight or patriotic about it. It was a good chance to get 200 hours of flying time. There weren’t any jobs in 1941. You couldn’t buy a job. We were still in the deep depression. $125 a month as a second lieutenant looked like a fortune.”

After coming back to Ellendale, Wheelihan became a jack of all trades.

He’s been in farming and ranching, real estate and was the Ellendale Postmaster for 16 years.

He’s now at the nursing home in town.

Tonight at 9:00, I’ll tell you about the friend who visits him every single day and the special bond they have.

Categories: Community, Local News, North Dakota News