World War II pilot, a civilian ‘Rosie the Riveter’ in spotlight at area Veterans Day ceremony

Walter Pettit, now 97, flew combat missions in France and Germany. CONTRIBUTED
Walter Pettit, now 97, flew combat missions in France and Germany. CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

CENTERVILLE – Different eras and ways of service will be spotlighted Wednesday during Centerville’s annual Veterans Day ceremony.

Two military vets and a civilian World War II worker from Centerville will be among those recognized at the event set to occur at the Veterans Memorial at Stubbs Park.

Walter Pettit, now 97, flew combat missions in France and Germany. CONTRIBUTED
Walter Pettit, now 97, flew combat missions in France and Germany. CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Centerville “is proud to be home to so many brave men and women who served our country,” Mayor Brooks Compton said in a statement released by the city.

“We want each service member to know we recognize them as heroes, welcome them to Centerville and always respect their service and sacrifice,” he added.

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Among those set to be recognized, according to the city, include:

•1st Lt. Walter Pettit, 97. The WW II vet served in the U.S. Air Force and spent most of his military career in combat in France and Germany. He flew 43 missions and received two air medals and two Oak Leaf Clusters.

Pettit flew the P47 Thunder Bolt, which had four 50-caliber machine guns and a 500-pound bomb on each wing.

Ruth Snively, 95, worked at a Chicago factory making Navy components during World War II. CONTRIBUTED
Ruth Snively, 95, worked at a Chicago factory making Navy components during World War II. CONTRIBUTED

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Credit: CONTRIBUTED

During his first combat mission, he flew wingman for a pilot who had flown 1,500 hours in a spitfire plane in the Royal Canadian Air Force. It was the man’s first mission with the USAF. German troops shot down the plane and the pilot was killed.

•Ruth Snively, 95. Snively worked at the Seeburg Factory in Chicago during WW II.

She was among the countless U.S. women affectionately called “Rosie the Riveter.” Commonly, women held war-related jobs in private factories that changed their product lines to produce military components.

Seeburg was a producer of juke boxes that switched to making sonar sets for the Navy. Snively worked on the assembly line and soldered electronic parts into the unit. Later she worked as a civilian employee for the Air Force and repaired aircraft radios.

David Cottrill, now 79, served as a chaplain U.S. Air Force in several states and in Thailand, Germany and Turkey. CONTRIBUTED
David Cottrill, now 79, served as a chaplain U.S. Air Force in several states and in Thailand, Germany and Turkey. CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

•David Cottrill, 79. Cottrill served as a chaplain U.S. Air Force in several states and in Thailand, Germany and Turkey.

He was awarded the Humanitarian Service Medal and the Defense Service Medal, among other commendations.

The ceremony is set for 11 a.m. at the park at 255 W. Spring Valley Road. The city is limiting attendance due to COVID-19, but it can be viewed on Centerville’s Facebook page.

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Ruth Snively, now 95, worked at a Chicago factory making Navy components during World War II. CONTRIBUTED
Ruth Snively, now 95, worked at a Chicago factory making Navy components during World War II. CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

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