John Wells' memorabilia from his time as a World War ll B26 bomber pilot in Australia is seen at his Pasadena home September 12, 2012. (SGVN/Photo By Sarah Reingewirtz)

Photo Gallery: 93-year-old World War II B-26 bomber pilot

PASADENA - Four inches have been added to his waistband and five pounds to his lanky 6-foot-3-inch frame, but in his new replica uniform John B. Wells doesn't look so very different from the "pea green" pilot he was in 1941.
The 93-year-old World War II B-26 bomber pilot will head for Australia this month, the lone veteran representing the 18th Recon Squadron/408th Bomb Squadron stationed there during the height of the battle in the South Pacific.
His new uniform is tailored with the vintage

John Wells, 93, who was a World War ll B26 bomber pilot that was based in Australia, poses at his Pasadena home September 12, 2012. (SGVN/Photo By Sarah Reingewirtz)
style, fabric and insignia of his era. And Wells, president of the 22nd Bomb Group Assoc., will be wearing it for the memorial service and dedication of a plaque in the town of Charters Towers in Northern Queensland, part of a "Victory in the Pacific" Heritage Festival commemorating the arrival of U.S. servicemen there 70 years ago."They asked if we'd show up in uniform," Wells said about his new outfit.
And since an Arctic parka was "the only survivor" of his service togs, he had to improvise.
"We found this place that makes uniforms from the old fabric, in the old style - I'd forgotten how high we wore our pants then," Wells joked. "It's pretty funny."
He can still put on his garrison cap at a rakish
angle, without even a glance in the mirror. He can reel off stories of his comrades, details of their missions flying over the Coral Sea and high mountain ranges to bomb Japanese invaders in New Guinea; the grinding work of ground crews "cannibalizing" parts to keep the planes flying; plus some off-duty escapades.But it wasn't always that way, said Jane Wells, his wife of 64 years. Until their three children coaxed him to add his wartime memories to a spoken record of his childhood, the Chattanooga, Tenn. native never talked about the war.