Contributor Post Created with Sketch. “The Highlight of My Life Was Serving My Country”

 

For five of the best minutes you’re likely to spend anytime soon, watch this interview with Jerry Yellen, who flew P-51 Mustangs off Iwo Jima in the last days of the Second World War. He speaks here from that speck of an island where so many of his countrymen lost their lives in the great struggle. Among other remarkable observations, Yellen speaks of his wingman, who was killed over Japan during the last combat mission of the war.

On Monday, I took my daughter to a Memorial Day observance at a cemetery in Westlake Village, California, where we were honored to meet a man who parachuted into France as a “pathfinder” ahead of the D-Day invasion. Try to imagine it: you’re 18 or 19 years old, and in the dead of night you’re jumping out of an airplane into a countryside infested with enemy soldiers.

We can all thank God for such men — all 16 million of them — who answered the call when their country needed them, and for those who continue to do so.

There are 6 comments.

  1. Profile Photo Member

    It is a beautiful thing that so soon after the war Japanese and Americans can love one another. That this man can be a loving grandfather to Japanese grandchildren. That his son could be accepted and loved by his wife’s family.

    • #1
    • May 26, 2015, at 7:52 AM PST
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  2. Stan Hjerleid Inactive

    Thank You Jerry Yellen – Here’s one from my hometown that didn’t make it back Lt. Jack E. Shively

    • #2
    • May 26, 2015, at 8:38 AM PST
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  3. Bob W Member

    My Step-dad flew the last mission of his squadron off Iwo Jima. His was a PB4Y “privateer”. They were looking for Japanese subs. The flight never returned, it was shot down over Tokyo bay. Upon receiving “the” telegram from H Truman, my mother and I took a train half way across the US to his ceremonial funeral held by his family in Missouri. At that time we were living in San Deigo where mom had a job at an aircraft plant. However, at the end of the war it turned out he was a POW in Tokyo. I just attended his second and last funeral a few months ago, he was 93 when he passed away.

    • #3
    • May 26, 2015, at 3:49 PM PST
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  4. barbara lydick Coolidge

    When Capt. Jerry Yellen noted that there are so few veterans of WWII left and that soon there would be none, I envisioned too many teachers at the university level, nay, even those teaching high school, who would be pleased by this. After all, it would no longer have to be taught how the United States stepped in and literally saved the world from evil. Because, we’re told, there isn’t such a thing as evil. The current administration must surely believe that to be true, given its actions over the past 6 ½ years – and especially of late.

    Thank God for heroes such as Capt. Yellen – and may he and his 16 million comrades and their actions never be forgotten.

    Thank you, Mr. Dunphy, for sharing his words with us.

    • #4
    • May 26, 2015, at 8:31 PM PST
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  5. Ansonia Member

    Thank you, Mr. Dunphy. This was a gift.

    • #5
    • May 26, 2015, at 11:59 PM PST
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  6. Devereaux Inactive

    barbara lydick:When Capt. Jerry Yellen noted that there are so few veterans of WWII left and that soon there would be none, I envisioned too many teachers at the university level, nay, even those teaching high school, who would be pleased by this.

    Thank God for heroes such as Capt. Yellen – and may he and his 16 million comrades and their actions never be forgotten.

    Thank you, Mr. Dunphy, for sharing his words with us.

    This reminds me of back in the day when I would see an occasional veteran of the Spanish-American War. They are all gone, as soon will be the WWII’s, and the almost never mentioned Korean War vets. And soon afterward will be out turn – the Vietnam guys.

    Perhaps the best thing is that as the wars progressed there were fewer and fewer involved.

    • #6
    • May 27, 2015, at 6:57 AM PST
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