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SUNRISE (CBSMiami) – In this week’s Heroes Among Us, we introduce Sam Kessler, a U.S. Army World War II veteran.

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Kessler served from 1942 to 1945 flying one of the the most famous bomber of WWII, a B-24, in the skies above Europe. He was a tail gunner who position is to have his pilot’s back, manning a machine gun and shooting down enemy threats in the sky.

Sam Kessler honored as a Hero at Florida Panthers game (CBS4)

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But a particular bombing mission over Nuremberg, Germany forever changed him. He still recalls every detail.

“The weather was terrible, than the pilot realized something was wrong and he ordered us to put our parachutes on. He started ordering the gunners to bail out. Me? I’m going, ‘SOS, SOS’,” Kessler recalled. “And he says ‘get out’, he couldn’t come with me because he had to steer the plane. And that’s the last I saw of him.”

Kessler was recently honored at a Florida Panthers game, proudly wearing a Panthers jersey with his fighter pilot jacket over it, and his family by his side. While being honored, every person in the BB&T Arena stood, applauded and paid tribute to this proud veteran.

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On behalf of the Florida Panthers and CBS4, we would like to say thank you Sam Kessler for your service.