Air Force Veteran Roy Lee Grover is today's Veteran of the Day.

On his 100th birthday, today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Air Force Veteran Roy Lee Grover, who 57 combat missions in New Guinea during World War II.

Born in January 1921 in Logan, Utah, Roy Lee Grover lived on a farm until he was 5. His family then moved to Salt Lake City, Utah. Grover’s interest in the military and serving his country began early. In elementary school, he played the bugle while the flag was raised every morning. In high school, he was part of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program.

During the summer of 1940, Grover attended ground school through the Civilian Pilot Program at the University of Utah, his alma mater. He applied for pilot training in the Army upon the completion of his sophomore year of college.

After joining in November 1941 and going to basic training at Bakersfield Army Air Field in California, Grover began flight training at Visalia Army Air Field in California. He received his wings and became a second lieutenant in May 1942. The following August, he deployed with the 38th Bombardment Group to prevent a Japanese invasion in Australia during World War II.

During the war, Grover served as a B-25 pilot and flew 57 combat missions in New Guinea. Many of Grover’s missions involved flying from Charters Towers to Port Moresby, where the pilots would load up with ammunition and fuel before flying across the island to bomb the Japanese.

In October 1943, he returned to the U.S. to train combat crews and fly transport missions in the United States, Europe and North Africa.

After the war, Grover continued his service at North American Aerospace Defense Command in Colorado as a pilot, comptroller, deputy base commander and management analyst. During his time in the service, he received the Distinguished Flying Cross and three Air Medals among other awards.

Grover retired from the Air Force as a lieutenant colonel and began working in the aerospace industry. In 2006, Grover published a book titled “Incidents in the Life of a B-25 Pilot,” a recollection of his experiences during World War II.

Thank you for your service!

Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.


Writer: Katherine Berman

Editor: Brooke Wolfenbarger

Fact checker: Latesha Thornhill

Graphic artist: Courtney Carr

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Published on Jan. 24, 2021

Estimated reading time is 2.2 min.

Views to date: 154


  1. TLF January 28, 2021 at 3:38 pm

    Thank you for your service, and happy 100th birthday this month!

  2. Kenneth E Barker January 27, 2021 at 8:13 pm

    You joined in Nov. 1941, when I was 3 months old. I’m glad to read of your brave service to our country.
    I joined Navy Dec. 26, 1960 I was a small guy, so the recruiter came to my door asking for birth certificate. That’s when we discovered I was born August 4, not 5th, as my mother had thought! We had a good laugh, and the recruiter was convinced of my age. Thus began a great 4 year adventure! I have written many memoirs. I was motivated by 5 of 7 siblings who begged me to share my sea-going adventures!

  3. Shanna Cashmore January 27, 2021 at 5:22 pm

    Lee, I too am so grateful for the service you gave to our country and the world in World War II. In addition, I am thankful that you documented your experiences in the written word so that future generations can be blessed by your example . You and Dottie are well remembered and loved in Santa Maria.

    • Wes Grover January 28, 2021 at 3:25 pm

      This is my grandpa! I’ll send your note along. Thank you for your kind words to him and my grandma!

  4. Senior Veterans Care Network January 25, 2021 at 10:24 am

    Thank you for your service Roy Lee Grover!

  5. Robert Updike January 24, 2021 at 10:31 pm

    Thanks for your service.

Comments are closed.

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