REDDING, Calif. - World War II veteran Gene Peebles stayed at the Mizpah Hotel in Nevada before being deployed. Now, he plans on returning the room key he had and misplaced during his stay at the hotel.
Peebles, a Redding native, said his mother and his fiancée – who is now his wife, visited him in room number 12.
At the time, Peebles said all he hoped for was to make it home safely and to be able to return to his loved ones.
"I flew about 36 missions in the South Pacific and came home without a scratch, so I was very fortunate, "said Peebles.
After returning from war, Peebles married and started a family.
Sixty-three years later, his son was going through some of his things and found an old key. It had the words: Mizpah Hotel on it. Peebles said he couldn't believe that key was still with him. He said it still brings back a lot of memories.
Peebles' son called the Mizpah Hotel, who will be putting the key in a historical display. The hotel will also give the Peebles family a room, where they can stay during their visit.
"They're going to give us the same room – number 12 – so that's kind of exciting!" said Peebles. "For me it brings back memories, been a long time since 1944 when that happened!"
Peebles said those memories will stay with him for the rest of his life.
"It doesn't hurt me to get rid of the key poor key," Peebles said, "it's been around so long it needs to go back to its home – you know what I mean?"