Former Army Air Corps Capt. Jerry Yellin’s latest book is “The Last Fighter Pilot: The True Story of the Final Combat Mission of WWII.”
Yellin, in his third visit to the National Stearman Fly-In, will relate some of his experiences and sign copies of his book at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 6. The presentation and the book signing will be in the Fly-In’s seminar tent at Galesburg Municipal Airport.
The book, published by Regnery History, was released July 31. Copies will be available for purchase.
Here’s a description of the book’s contents:
The stench of death, a rain of bullets and a minute-to-minute fight for survival faced young Jerry Yellin when he landed on Iwo Jima in in 1945.
Yellin could not imagine his life would be turned upside down during a routine flight, which turned out to be the last combat mission of World War II. Flanked by devoted comrades, he led the 78th Fighter Squadron on a mission that left its mark on history.
New York Times bestselling author Don Brown collaborated with Yellin on the book to bring to life the story from one of America’s last living World War II heroes.
Anxiously awaiting Japan’s surrender, Jerry and his wingman, Second Lieutenant Phillip Schlamberg, took off in their P-51s on Aug. 14, 1945, with the expectation that the assignment would be aborted with the end of the war imminent. During their mission, the war was declared over, but word did not reach Yellin and Schlamberg in time. Schlamberg would not live to celebrate V-J Day.
Yellin relays the loss and horror he experienced in war, and his battle to overcome PTSD decades after the war ended. Ultimately he found healing from hatred in an unlikely way and continues to advocate on behalf of the Greatest Generation.