WWII pilot to speak April 23 at Great River Health Systems

World War II fighter pilot Capt. Jerry Yellin will speak from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday, April 23, at Great River Health System. The public presentation will be in the Blackhawk Room on the lower level of Mercy Plaza. Seating is limited.

Yellin, 90, of Fairfield, Iowa, flew the war’s final combat mission Aug. 14, 1945, and witnessed the last American casualty – his wingman. He is national spokesman of Spirit of ’45 Day, a grassroots organization helping organize events commemorating the 70th anniversary of the war.

Yellin was honorary grand marshal of the 2014 National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, D.C. The U.S. Air Force inducted him into their Hall of Fame with the late Louie Zamperini in August 2014.

He is the author of three books:

  • “Of War and Weddings, “a memoir of his postwar battle to accept and love his son’s Japanese wife and family
  • “The Resilient Warrior, Healing the Hidden Wounds of War,” about overcoming his 30-year battle with post-traumatic stress disorder
  • “The Blackened Canteen,” a historic fiction novel about the war