Delton Walling is no stranger when it comes to danger and he definitely isn’t afraid to face it head on. He has spent much of his life fighting horrific personal battles and serving our country during World War II. Walling is also an amateur boxer as well as an experienced skydiver. The man admits to even cutting off his own finger just so he could join the Navy. Recently, he celebrated his 96th birthday by jumping out of an airplane in Lodi, California, just south of Sacramento. It was his seventh consecutive birthday jump.
To Walling, there is no other experience quite like skydiving.
Walling truly enjoyed the thrill of his recent birthday jump. He said, “Every time you do something like this it makes you feel pretty good.” For everything else he has been through in his life, that is an incredible statement. Walling used to own his own airplane and would fly frequently to Mexico for fishing excursions. But Walling says that skydiving experience will be his last one. However, he plans on being incredibly busy traveling around the world and giving motivational speeches about his experiences during the Pearl Harbor attack. He admits that you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow and plans to live the rest of his life to the fullest. And he wants to make the most of every moment.
Educating people about World War II and the devastating effects war has on veterans is extremely important to Walling.
He was only 19 years old when the attacks on Pearl Harbor began. Somehow, he survived while 2,400 other brave souls weren’t so lucky. He witnessed everything atop a communications control tower as the Japanese rained down their fierce attacks on his fellow soldiers. He wants to make sure people don’t forget what happened that day in Pearl Harbor. The traumatizing effects of the war and the lack of proper medical treatment and support when he returned inspired him to fight for his fellow and future veterans to not have to go through what he did.
Walling has spent several years as an ambassador for the events of Pearl Harbor. He makes several trips to Pearl Harbor at his own expense during the year and stays for an entire month on the attack’s anniversary every year. He is always willing to speak about his experiences, sign autographs, and take pictures. He often sits at a desk in Pearl Harbor greeting tourists and answering any questions they have. He has also served as Grand Marshal of the Waikiki Parade for several years.
To this day, the events that unfolded still give him nightmares but he said he would do it all again if given a choice.
Walling has even made arrangements for his ashes to be scattered over the USS Utah wreckage upon his death. News of his recent skydiving jump has quickly spread across the internet on newsfeeds and social media platforms. Hopefully, this will help give Walling a wider audience for his motivational messages and perhaps lead to change on the treatment of veterans coming back from war and other hostile encounters.