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Parade, St. X marching band rings in WWII veteran's 104th birthday

Posted at 10:10 AM, Mar 22, 2021

CINCINNATI — A parade of more than 100 people, along with St. Xavier High School's marching band, rang in veteran Robert Doolan’s 104th birthday on Sunday.

What’s more impressive than Doolan’s birthday celebration was his service in WWII. Doolan recalled being shot down and running away from the plane. Trying to escape, he traded his St. Xavier High School Class of 1935 ring.

“I couldn't be wearing a ring with English printing on it,” Doolan said.

Doolan was captured by Gestapo and eventually moved to Stalag Luft III, a large prisoner-of-war camp in Germany, where he spent more than a year until he was freed in 1945.

When Doolan returned home, a classmate had called the manufacturer over his class ring. Doolan said they made him a brand new ring, just like the one he had from 1935.

Tony Schad, vice president of advancement at St. Xavier, was among the people who celebrated Doolan’s milestone.

“He's been back so many times, talked with our kids about his experiences, there's no place I'd rather be right now,” Schad sad.

Doolan said the same: “I think it's great. I'd like to see 105 next year,” he said.