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Jerry Yellin

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Captain Jerry Yellin, USA “enlisted in the Army Air Corps on Feb. 15, 1942, his 18th birthday and graduated from Luke Field in August, 1943 as a fighter pilot. He was in combat in the Pacific Theater and Iwo Jima with the 78th Fighter Squadron and participated in the first land based fighter mission over Japan on April 7, 1945 and the last mission of the war on August 14, 1945. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with an Oak Leaf cluster and the Air Medal with four Oak Leaf clusters. He was discharged a Captain in December 1945. Captain Jerry Yellin is the author of Of War & Weddings: A Legacy of Two Fathers and The Blackened Canteen.

According to the book description of    The Blackened Canteen, “On June 20, 1945, just before the end of the war, 123 American bombers took off from the island of Guam for an attack on Shizuoka, a Japanese city at the foot of Mount Fuji. The raid destroyed two-thirds of the city, taking the lives of two thousand of its citizens. Twenty-three American airmen also died when two of their planes collided in mid-air. That these twenty-three men were enemy soldiers mattered little to one Japanese person who buried their remains next to the graves of the Shizuoka citizens killed in the attack and erected a memorial for them there. Many years later, in 1971, another Shizuoka citizen learned of this. He began holding his own ceremony beside the memorial, praying for the souls of the twenty-three Americans each year on the Saturday closest to June 20. Though the two countries were once at war, the selfless action of one Shizuoka citizen over sixty years ago has built a bridge between the two countries, inspiring a campaign for peace among Japanese and American citizens, and strengthening ties between the two countries. Having campaigned for peace for many years, this beautiful story strikes a deep chord with me. I hope it will become more widely known around the world and inspire other people too." ~Imagine Peace, Yoko Ono "Jerry Yellin takes you from the terror of war to the everlasting hope of peace, in a unique story of World War II. -A human story like no other. God bless you, Dr. Sugano." ~ John Colli, Nephew of Ken Colli from The Blackened Canteen "Words cannot express the true feelings of the heart when reading "The Blackened Canteen". We are brought to tears with the realization that this author cared enough to honor these fallen heroes of WWII. This fictional account has been faithfully told based on the facts of these American Soldiers lives. What a true blessing!”


One reader of Of War & Weddings: A Legacy of Two Fathers said, “A Legacy of Two Fathers is Jerry Yellin's legacy to his family, to his country and to the nation of Japan. The book is not just Yellin's extraordinary story of his experiences as a fighter pilot in the Pacific during World War II. it is also a story of the prejudice spawned by war and carried in the hearts of two war veterans, both military pilots, one Japanese and one American. Through the marriage of their children, the two fathers learn to make peace with their war experiences and allow the burdens of hatred for a nation and for a race to be lifted from their lives. With fascinating detail and moving honesty, Yellin navigates deftly in time between escorting B-29 bombers in raids on Tokyo in 1945, and visiting a rebuilt Tokyo on business and family trips in the 1980's. In the end, he has escorted readers on a journey which takes them through the darkness of war and brings them to the light of acceptance, understanding, and peace.”

Of War & Weddings; A Legacy of Two Fathers
Jerry Yellin  More Info

The Blackened Canteen

One reader of The Blackened Canteen said, “Set during World War II, The Blackened Canteen is a search for understanding in a time of institutionalized intolerance and fear. One man, Fukumatsu Itoh, saw beyond cultural, national, and racial borders in order to honor the souls of the people attacking his city. A year ago I lived near Shizuoka prefecture, where the bombing in this story took place. When I was in Japan I remember the anniversary of Hiroshima. The students who were usually lively and talkative became very sober and thoughtful. They had not forgotten that time. We sometimes talked about Japan getting its own military again, but most Japanese people did not want to risk the prospect of war again.”


Author Jerry Yellin explores voices American and Japanese, telling his story from the perspective of soldiers, government officials and civilians, tearing down national and cultural barriers to expose the generosity and dignity of the human spirit in everyone. The Blackened Canteen strives to close the gap between people at war. I think that message is relevant to Americans who are confronted with our own war crisis in Iraq. I think the sentiment of forgiveness and peace between nations is a message everyone would want to hear. Although The Blackened Canteen is set during a war, it is truly a story of peace: making peace with the past and shining a light towards a peaceful future.


One reader of Of War & Weddings: A Legacy of Two Fathers said, “This book is very well written and easy to read. I especially liked the part where Jerry Yellin is explaining what the Bataan Death March is to Yas, his Japanese friend. Jerry asks Yas how the Japanese could be so cruel. Yas comes back with how Americans treated the American Indian during the March of Tears and they go on to discuss the bombing of Hiroshima. This part is very enlightening. I would recommend this book to teenagers and adults alike. In fact we will be selling it shortly in the bookstore of the War in the Pacific National Historical Park on the island of Guam.”

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