The sound of bagpipes filled the air in a small, family cemetery in Laurens County Friday afternoon as family and friends of John R. Dominey Jr. prepared to say their final goodbyes to an American hero.
"Dad was a hero… He was an American hero, a patriot," says Jim Dominey, John's son.
At the age of 19, Dominey enlisted in the US military. He was a member of the 15th Air Force, 455th Bomb group, and 742nd Bomb squadron.
"He served in WWII as a turret gunner on a B-24 bomber and was shot down," says Jim.
After 18 missions aboard "Roger the Lodger," his plane was shot down over Austria on April 25th, 1945.
"When he parachuted out, he didn't think he was going to live, and he was trying to say the Lord's Prayer and he didn't have time to say it, so he asked God to just "have" him… He said, "Just have me," and as he said that, he felt God touch him, and when he felt God touch him, he was at peace," says Becky Woods, John's daughter.
His parachute safely reached the ground, but he was captured by Germans and held as a POW for the next ten days.
After the war, Dominey was honorably discharged as a Staff Sergeant—receiving the American Theater Ribbon, EAME Ribbon with 3 bronze stars, Good Conduct medal, Air Medal with 1 bronze cluster and the Victory Medal.
He married his wife of 66 years, and had 6 children.
"There are still a few, although fewer and fewer these days WWII veterans surviving and living," says Jim.
Today, it's projected that only about half a million WWII vets remain alive.
That's according to the National WWII Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana. They also say nearly 362 veterans die every day.
As this WWII veteran is laid to rest, his family hopes his testimony in Christ, and the power of prayer, will still touch the lives of generations to come.
© 2017 WMAZ-TV