10.6.2021 We had a special guest Roland Bixby to talk about Harl Pease, Medal of Honor recipient and Plymouth NH resident and hero.
Breakfast meeting 10/6/2021
Guests today were Ken Williamson, our speaker Roland Bixby and his friends Mary Carlson and Bill Flanders
Denise opened with a quote:  “A True Hero isn’t measured by the size of their strength but by the strength of their heart. “
Raffle:  50/50 won by Sharon.  The card game raffle was drawn by Ken, but he did not find the 6 of diamonds.  The pot grows to $385 with only 39 cards left in the deck.
Steve Rand’s guest today was a longtime family friend, Roland Bixby of Wentworth NH. Roland is almost 90 years old. Roland was a teacher for 30 years, and has written 28 books.
He grew up in Plymouth NH and remembered loving to go to Rand’s Hardware store and he especially loved the toy room as a child.  He talked about Steve Rand’s grandfather and how he had heard there was gold in Wentworth, NH back in the day.  Alas the only thing found was fool’s gold.
Roland spoke mostly about a local man, Harl Pease, of Plymouth NH.   Roland wrote a book called They Gave All about Harl Pease with the help of witnesses, particularly Father George Lepping.  
When Japan attached the US at Pearl Harbor, Harl Pease was determined to join and set out to learn to fly planes.  He took flying lessons and joined the Army Air Corp.  He volunteered to be one of the pilots who ferried huge bombers from the United States to the Philippines.  He went on many missions and was a very accomplished pilot.  In flight school he had top scores, was very talented and was admired by other pilots.  During their missions flying the bombers to the Philippines Harl would talk to the other pilots on the radio and was a great influence to them.
Unfortunately, after many flights he was shot down and captured by the Japanese in the Pacific and became a prisoner of war.  He was held as a prisoner for many months under poor conditions.  The prisoners had to find their own food and conditions were deplorable.  Eventually he was killed by his captures.  The next to be killed was Father George Lepping but the Japanese General was shot and he was saved to tell the tale.  Harl Pease’s family was awarded the Medal of Honor for Harl Pease’s sacrifice by President Franklin D Roosevelt.
There is a memorial placard in front of the Plymouth Town Hall in memory of Harl Pease.  Harl Pease was thought of so highly around the world that similar memorials are in several major cities all around the World.  Plymouth NH and Plymouth’s hero was very famous.
Roland share many stories about Harl, his family, and the Rands, as they were close.  It was very interesting.