My uncle twice removed, survived the experience of the Lost Battalion. One of my uncles died in Bataan Death March. Another uncle was the bombardier on a B-17 that dropped its load on Berlin. My FIL served during the Korean Conflict. Two of my cousins pushed helicopters off of ships decks in the last days of the Vietnam Conflict. Another cousin, from the other side of my family, flew one of those helicopters. His brother is MIA.
I took a Physics class from one of the men who put Sputnik in space. I took a Statics class from a NASA statistician who worked on The Space Shuttle Program. My shop teacher in HS drove two US Presidents around. The Physics teacher worked on the Manhattan Project. I later worked in a Math & Science Museum with three other Manhattan men. They all knew my HS Physics teacher. I got them together online.
I have eaten breakfast with Chuck Yeager. He was at the table next to me at a restaurant in a town in Northern California, we nodded at each other. I have met his daughter, Jeana, & Burt Rutan as well. I shook their hands.
Growing up, on the street corner nearest to my house, there were four veterans of WWII. One Marine who served on Iwo Jima among other places. One Sea Bee who also served in the Pacific Theater. One man who served in the European theater. Last but not least, one man who along with his mother, father, brother, sister, & wife were interred here in Colorado because his ancestors came from Japan. He served in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. They all got on with each other & had neighborhood barbecues that I attended while I lived there. I mowed the grass for all of them, as well as delivering their papers.
Not people, but machines, I have worked on some historic aircraft. The Hughes H-4 Hercules, AKA The Spruce Goose. A few of them served in WWII, two C-47s, one Grumman G-44, AKA a Widgeon, & many bombers that later served as slurry bombers in the PNW fighting forest fires. That is where I met most of them. While working for Boeing, I operated a manual lathe that had a tag stating that it was the property of the USAAF. The tag was dated June 1942.
I could list more, but these few will seem like bragging to some folks.