Faribault native Joe Skodje celebrated an incredible milestone. On March 30th, he is celebrated his 100th birthday! 2LT Joseph Skodje served as an Army Air Corps pilot in World War II.
“It was a beautiful day on the prairie near Fort Ransom, North Dakota. I was visiting the farm homes of my stepmother’s brother and sister. Arriving home at 808 7th Street North, Fargo, I found a telegram waiting for me: “Report to the OQMC in Washington, D.C. without delay!” (Office of the Quartermaster General). So ended my day – Sunday, December 7 in 1941! PEARL HARBOR!!”
These are a few sentences of Joseph Skodje’s Memoirs of World War II. From Washington D.C., he traveled to Minneapolis and applied for and was accepted into the Army Air Corps. He went on to become a pilot and spent time training in San Antonio, TX, Stamford, TX, Garden City, KS, Ellington Field in Houston, TX, Bergstrom Field, Austin, TX, Grenada, MS, Alliance, NE, and Fort Wayne, IN. In England, he was assigned to the 442 Troop Carrier Squadron and flew in the Invasion of Holland.
After the war, Joe went on to earn a degree in Engineering from the University of North Dakota. He and his wife, Helen, lived in Minneapolis before relocating to Clearwater, FL with their growing family which included 3 children. Joe worked for Honeywell as an industrial and safety engineer.
In 100 years, he has had time to have a lot of interests. He, along with Helen, were involved with many organizations which involved their kids. They also traveled extensively in both the United States and other worldwide destinations.
In the fall of 2018, Joe left Florida and relocated to Faribault, MN to be near his son. He often jokes that people do not typically move from Florida north during retirement!
Today, Joe is still active in working with photographs, zoom meetings, current events discussions, email and talking with friends and family by phone. He also grows flowers on his windowsill. With the cooped-up life of Covid, he has even given in and been known to enjoy a game of Bingo – just to be around people!Thank you for your service Joe, and we wish you a happy 100th birthday!