EATONTON, Ga. — A World War II veteran received a very special gift from an Eatonton group on Friday. Frank Fasmer is a well-decorated World War II veteran who received a Quilt of Valor from the Lake Oconee Quilt Guild on Friday.
"There was a real feeling of camaraderie. All of the guys were really buddies and looked out for each other," Fasmer said of his time in the Army Air Force.
Fasmer flew 110 missions as a P-47 Thunderbolt pilot and received five Distinguished Service Cross medals. That was enough for the Lake Oconee Quilt Guild, based in Eatonton, to present him with one of their signature quilts.
"We're really excited to present this quilt to Mr. Fasmer because he's a World War II vet and there just aren't that many of them left," said Nancy Stafford of the quilt group.
Fasmer said he never knew if he would ever come back on any mission he flew throughout Germany. He and an Air Force comrade would use each other's wingspans to gauge when to fire on targets.
"Sometimes we would come so close that you could feel the air pressure that the airplane made and you'd go, 'Woooo,' and then you'd say, 'Wow, that was a close one,'" Fasmer said.
His quilt has plenty of red, white, and blue and is made of three layers representing community, hope, and the strength of a veteran.
Stafford served in the 8th Air Force mostly out of Shreveport, Louisiana. She said she was proud to have played a part in helping missions like Fasmer's.
"To hear him and know there were people like me supporting his missions and how exciting and, well, dangerous, he put his life on the line, but that made me feel good about my service as well," Stafford said.
The 95-year-old served his country twofold. When he returned to the states after the war, he spent 30 years as a firefighter and retired as a battalion chief in Los Angeles. He says he's thankful to receive such a special gift for his service.
"It's just beautiful. You just can't think that the ladies went through this much trouble to say thank you," Fasmer said.
The Lake Oconee Quilt Guild has seven other quilts they plan to present to deserving veterans between January and March.