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New book on World War II shares first-hand accounts

Twelve Washington residents share their memories of WWII

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This is their story, their chilling, first-hand experiences of fighting in World War II.

In a page-turning account, from a paratrooper, a fighter pilot, an engineer and a man with Japanese parents who enlisted in the Army, these local residents reflect on their days during a war that saved the world from tyranny.

Twelve people, all residents of the state of Washington, talk about their memories in a new book, Washington Remembers WWII.

Each of them share their experience in WWII, giving a detailed, first-hand account of a troubling time in America's history.

Joe Moser talks about being held prisoner by the Germans after bailing out of a crashing Lockheed P-38 Lightning, which was the fastest twin-engine fighter of its time. He survived eight months in the hellish Buchenwald concentration camp. He was set free just days before his rumored execution.

Fred Shiosaki talks about how he was working on his homework and listening to the radio in his Spokane home. Suddenly, an alarming announcement was made over the radio. It was Dec. 7, 1941. The Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor. Shiosaki enlisted and joined the storied 442nd Regimental Combat Team, one of the most decorated units in U.S. Army history.

Regina Tollfeldt of Olympia did what she could by working in a Boeing factory, helping build bombers and fighter planes. As one of the last surviving of the famous "Rosie the Riveters," Tollfeldt worked eight hours a day, seven days a week.

Arnold Samuels talks of how his family escaped the Nazis in 1937 and how he returned as an Army GI, helping liberate those imprisoned at the concentration camp at Dachau. After the war, Samuels served with the Counter Intelligence Corps and searched for military criminals. During this time, Samuels worked with a 22-year-old sergeant named Henry Kissinger, who later became the U.S. secretary of state under presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford and received the Nobel Peace Prize.

Bob Hart reflects on his decision to volunteer as a paratrooper in 1943, saying he made that decision because he thought he wouldn't have to walk as far. On his first jump in combat, Hart broke his foot and was forced to walk 50 miles in southern France. Hart talks about his involvement in the Battle of the Bulge and how his outfit helped stop Adolph Hitler's desperate bid to counter the ally attack.

Robert Graham, who lives in Olympia and was a seven-term state auditor, was a flight engineer on cargo planes during WWII. The C-54s in his squadron carried everything from C-rations to atomic bomb parts. On return flights from the South Pacific, Graham talks about how the planes were filled with wounded men.

"Our motto was we always delivered the goods," Graham said.

Last year in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII, an exhibit at the Karshner Museum in Puyallup opened. The exhibit, the "Veterans Night at the Museum," is open from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. until February.

For more about the book Washington Remembers WWII, go to

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