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Auburn man, WWII veteran celebrates 100th birthday

The most decorated fighter pilot in U.S. History turns 100 with celebration in Auburn.

AUBURN, Calif — Clarence "Bud" Anderson remembers where he was the day Pearl Harbor was attacked.

"I was at the Sacramento depo enlisting in the U.S. Airforce," he said. 

Anderson went on to become a triple ace — a pilot who destroys 15 enemy aircraft in a single day — and the highest scoring American fighter pilot of all time in his P51 Mustang named the Old Crow.

When asked where the name Old Crow originated, he has two stories.

"To my church friends, I say it's named after the crow, the most intelligent and most nimble of all birds," Anderson said. "To my drinking friends, it's named after the whisky of the same name. Not a particularly good whisky, but it's strong and gets the job done."

You can see an unopened bottle of Old Crow Whisky once kept on board his aircraft at The Old Crow Café, which was dedicated in his honor, at the Sacramento Aerospace Museum

When asked what the 22 year old version of himself would say about turning 100, and all that he's done, Anderson let out a hearty laugh, then settled into a thoughtful.

"Well tell you the truth, the only thing I thought about was trying to make it through the day, so I’d be here the next day," Anderson said, adding two nuggets of advice to young people. 

"My smart-a answer is simply no minor vices," Anderson said. "But honestly, if you use my example. I loved to fly and did it for a living, and did it well. If you find something you enjoy, do that and you'll excel!"

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