On March 29, 1943 during the North Africa campaign of World War Two -- B-25 pilot, Lt. Roger Jamison -- just 22 years old -- learned his son Roger Junior was born, back home in the United States. Decades later, that son, now Roger Maraist, would begin his journey to get to know his father, "I met the gentleman that got the cable gram, ran out on the tarmac as my dad is getting ready to taxi, to let him know he was a father. And he was killed that day." Maraist also acquired Airforce footage that actually shows his father's plane over Tunisia in flames. "What are the odds of that? They were losing 175 planes a day."
Call it circumstance or divine intervention. These types of remarkable coincidences are what kept Maraist going in his quest to find out about the father he never knew, beyond the posthumous (Distinguished Service Cross and Purple Heart) medals for his heroism. "My dad was not a topic of conversation while I was growing up. I knew the letters were here in the house among my grandmother's belongings and one day I just was compelled to get em." Through hundreds of letters, news clippings, and personal encounters with veterans that flew with his father, Maraist wrote the book: "Letters Home from a Fallen Hero," available on Amazon. He's sold hundreds of copies since it was released last December. "Before I started this I knew of my father. I know him now. I know him. It helped me learn who I am."
He even e-mailed producer Nancy Spielberg who personally replied, "She goes, 'Roger this is movie material.' She says, 'I don't have time to do it,' but she encouraged me to continue what I'm doing." So he says he will keep telling veterans' stories... especially the ones who are no longer here, to tell their own. Maraist serves as Editor for the 82nd Bomb Squadron Newsletter, devoted to Veterans and families of the 12th Bomb Group.