A 91-year-old veteran who was dismissed from the U.S. Air Force as "undesirable" in 1948 because he's gay is suing in Connecticut to have his discharge status upgraded.

The federal lawsuit was filed Friday by H. Edward Spires against the secretary of the Air Force and asks for his discharge status to be changed to "honorable."

Spires says after the repeal of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy in 2010 he applied for an upgrade but was rejected by the Air Force Board for Corrections of Military Records, which noted personnel records were lost in a 1973 fire.

The Air Force says it can't comment on pending litigation.

Attorneys for Spires say he's in poor health and would like a military funeral but that won't be possible without an upgrade.