The Last Word
A Novel of the Pacific War
by Ron Miner
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A small town journalist is tasked with the most important assignment of his life––a conversation with the last surviving World War II veteran. And the man is willing to talk.
Gleaned from real life filmed interviews with ten squadron members, this novel is a poignant tale of a life well lived, and an evocative legacy of rescue missions and night flight from New Guinea to the Mariana Islands of World War II’s South Pacific.
Dan Callahan’s next three days take him on a pilgrimage of over one hundred years in the life of Owen Trimbel, a Great Depression-era Minnesota farm boy. Owen’s story begins with an unforgettable visit to an uncle’s home near Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Over the next hours and days, he enchants Dan with his collective wisdom, humor, and philosophy––from the intricacies of attaching a plow to a mule to firing the .50 caliber machine guns from his PBY Catalina’s waist hatches.
Dan soon realizes that he currently occupies a rare instant in the trajectory of history: he can actually speak with an individual who lived the World War II experience––and it is something that will end with Owen.
The Last Word takes us on missions over an endless sea, lacing together stories of duty, friendship, responsibility, and ninety-year-old secrets.