Dancing WWII Veteran Goes Viral with Justin Timberlake Dance

"Dancing Chuck,"

Chuck Franzke is a 97-year-old World War II veteran who served in the Navy as a pilot. He recently became known for something other than his service when a video of him dancing went viral.

The Stars and Stripes Honor Flight organization posted a video of Chuck dancing to Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling” from the movie “Trolls.”

The video has been seen more than one million times since it was posted. It seems Chuck’s moves have cheered people around the world as they wait out the pandemic.

Sites such as CBS News, Good Morning America, People Magazine and Entertainment Tonight have covered or re-tweeted the video in the days since it first appeared on social media.

Media sites in countries such as Canada and Britain have covered the video as well.

Justin Timberlake himself commented on the video saying that it made his day. Katie Couric chimed in to state, “I LOVE THIS.”

This isn’t the first dancing video of Chuck to go viral. In fact, he’s already earned the nickname “Dancing Chuck” due to his viral dancing videos.

The latest video starts with a shot of Chuck’s front door while the music of Justin Timberlake is playing in the background. Chuck appears in the door and holds his hand to his ear before stepping outside and moving to the beat.

Timberlake at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. GabboT – CC BY-SA 2.0
Timberlake at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. GabboT – CC BY-SA 2.0

Due to the coronavirus restrictions in place, no one else appears in the video as Chuck practices strict social distancing.

In 2017, Chuck went viral with a video of him dancing to Christmas music. He stated at the time that he said that when the music starts playing he starts “bouncing around.” Then, when the music stops, he sits back down.

His wife of over 80 years stated that Chuck has always been “a pretty good dancer.” The two enjoyed dancing to big band music when they were younger but his sense of balance is no longer good enough to jitterbug these days.

He explained his love of dancing with his wife this way: “I just like music and I like her, too.”

Chuck is actively involved in Stars and Stripes Honor Flight, a non-profit organization that arranges for veterans to fly to Washington, D.C. to see the various memorials that have been erected in their honor.

The video comes at a time when many people are staying home to avoid spreading the COVID-19 virus.

Many people commenting on the video expressed their appreciation both for Chuck’s service to his country and for the inspiration he provides in spreading joy during these uncertain times.

Chuck also made headlines in 2019 when the Commemorative Air Force Wisconsin Wing honored the former pilot with a flight in a restored WWII plane. Though he hasn’t flown himself since 1945, he said that the flight brought back a lot memories.

The Commemorative Air Force Wisconsin Wing is a non-profit organization that preserves vintage military aircraft .

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They seek to promote an appreciation for the history of military aviation and a respect for the military and those who have served in it.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE