'A strong, quiet hero who loved his country and family'
REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Redmond centenarian and World War II veteran Clarence (Cal) Graham passed away on Wednesday, a few months after his 100th birthday, his family announced.
"He was a strong, quiet hero who loved his country and family," his obituary states, which continues below:
During WWII, Cal was captured on Corregidor (Island) and survived a death march, followed by 3 1/2 years in brutal Japanese slave labor camps and transfers in "death ships."
He escaped from the last camp just after the bombing of Hiroshima and witnessed the bombing of Nagasaki.
Despite several near-death experiences, Cal never lost his faith in God or mankind.
After the war, he married his true love, Doris Lueders, and enjoyed a long and happy marriage until her death.
Cal retired after a long career with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Soil Conservation Service. He also rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel in the Oregon National Guard.
Later in life, he authored a highly acclaimed book, "Under the Samurai Sword," documenting his experiences during WWII.
The native of eastern, rural Nebraska has been featured in Tom Brokaw's book and documentaries about the Greatest Generation. He was interviewed by Brokaw for NBC News six years ago.
Cal is survived by four children, 10 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. He will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved him.