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Anthony Weller. Tony was the son of the Pulitzer-prize winning war correspondent George Weller (d. 2002). After his father's death, he compiled two books of George's unpublished war articles that were censored by the U.S. military. First into Nagasaki (2006) includes interviews with many POW liberated on Kyushu and an account of the hellship nightmare of the Oryoku Maru.Three years later, he edited and published Weller’s War (2009), a collection of his father’s World War II writing.
An accomplished jazz and classical guitarist and a widely published writer before primary progressive multiple sclerosis stilled his body starting in 2006, Weller was 63 when he died in his Gloucester home June 3 from complications of the illness. He was a high school classmate of mine, although I did not know him as he was a bit younger. However, our classmates had a steady fundraising campaign for him, so that he could live out his life at home instead of an institution. The motto of our high school is Non Sibi - Not for Oneself. Donations in his name to the school can be made here.
✪James D. Hornfischer. James died June 2, 2021 at age 55 after a lengthy illness. He was a gifted writer, naval historian, book editor, and literary agent. He is best known to the POW community as the chronicler of the USS Houston (CA-30) in his 2007 New York Times Best Seller, Ship of Ghosts: The Story of the USS Houston, FDR’s Legendary Lost Cruiser; and the Epic Saga of Her Survivors.
The author of several books focusing on the U.S. Navy, Hornfischer recently had been honored with the Navy Distinguished Public Service Award. His other naval history were: The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors: The Extraordinary World War II Story of the U.S. Navy’s Finest Hour; Neptune’s Inferno: The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal; and The Fleet at Flood Tide: America at Total War in the Pacific, 1944-1945. According to his official obituary, “Jim took great pride in the fact that each of his books has been placed on the Chief of Naval Operations’ Required Reading List.” A graduate of Colgate University, Hornfischer also earned two degrees at the University of Texas at Austin: an MBA from the McCombs School of Business and a Juris Doctor degree from UT’s School of Law. Soon after law school, he and his wife Sharon opened Hornfischer Literary Management, one of Austin’s first literary agencies.
Three additional Hornfischer books will be published posthumously: Destroyer Captain: The Last Stand of Ernest Evans, written with his son David J. Hornfischer; Who Can Hold the Sea: The US Navy in the Cold War, 1945-1960, and The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors: A Graphic Novel Adaptation. His family has requested that donations in his memory be made to the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, where his archives are housed. His official obituary.
✪Judy Yung. Judy was the third wife of Eddie Fung, only Chinese-American soldier captured by Imperial Japan during World War II. There were, however, quite a number of Chinese Americans captured on Wake Island and from Navy vessels that were sunk. Born in San Francisco in 1922, Eddie left home at 16 to become a cowboy in Texas. He joined the National Guard at 17, and his unit was activated in November 1941 as part of the 2nd Battalion, 131st Field Artillery of the 36th Infantry Division that was sent to Java, now part of Indonesia, to fight the invading Japanese in the early months of WWII. On March 8, 1942 he was surrendered by his Dutch commanders and soon sent to the Thai-Burma Death Railway.
Judy was introduced to Eddie by a military historian while doing research on Asian American men who had been in the U.S. Army and were taken as prisoners of war. Yung did nearly 50 hours of interviews with Fung that eventually led to a book titled The Adventure of Eddie Fung: Chinatown Kid, Texas Cowboy, Prisoner of War. He died in 2018. Then Senator Kamala Harris paid tribute to him with an extension of remarks in the Congressional Record on June 14, 2018. They married on April 1, 2003. Judy Yung was a pioneering scholar in Chinese American and women's history. The emerita professor of American studies, author, and scholar of Chinese American history at UC Santa Cruz, 74, passed away on December 14, 2020 after suffering a fall in her home.
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