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New book features veterans' testimonies from World War IINew book features veterans' testimonies from World War II

In a testament to his father and all World War II veterans, Charley Valera has compiled stories of those who fought for freedom and published them in a book titled My Father’s War: Memories from our Honored WWII Soldiers.

Valera’s father, Giovanni (John) “Gene” Valera, was the inspiration for the book. A member of the Eighth Army Air Force Ninety-Third Bombardment Group (Heavy), 329th Squadron, the elder Valera served in the war from 1942 to 1945.

In the introduction, the author admits, “Most of us have hardly heard their stories about their young war years. We may have been afraid to ask about their stories, and they may assume we don’t want to know. But this was such an important life changer, with certain death and torture on the line every day—waking up every morning for days and years without their families close by, constant battles going on, and amazing destruction. It was for us they fought, so we should know their stories. We should honor them by chronicling their amazing, heroic war efforts before they are gone and it’s too late.”

Valera hadn't talked to his father about his war experience, and his father died along with his stories of World War II. Years later, according to the author's website, Valera vowed to share the stories of other veterans. He interviewed dozens of veterans over two years to document their stories.

Valera highlights the stories of Capt. Vincent “Bill” Purple, Corp. Fernand E. Frechette, First Lieutenants Thomas J. and Elaine McDonald, Pvt. First Class George J. Pelletier, Tech Corp. Charles M. Sanderson, Staff Sgt. Albert George Pinard, Staff Sgt. Santo DiSalvo, Tech Sgt. Joseph R. Chiminiello, Second Lt. Charles R. Rogers, and Staff Sgt. Lauri K. Rautio. In addition, he provides short summaries for seven other veterans.

AOPA President Mark Baker, author Charley Valera, and EAA Chairman of the Board Jack Pelton. Image coutesy of Charley Valera.

Best-selling author of The Rockin’ Chair Steve Manchester says the book is “an incredible collection of eye witness testimonies from WWII veterans; soldiers and sailors who beat back the bile in their throats to do their duties and complete their dangerous missions.”

The book is available through Barnes and Noble as well as Amazon. The author also offers personalized copies on his website.

Topics: Pilots

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