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Fall City man’s book leads to WWII reunion

For the first time, Fall City author James Keeffe III will discuss how writing his family’s war story is leading to his father’s upcoming reunion with a Jewish girl he was in hiding with 67 years ago in Holland.

Keeffe’s presentation about “Two Gold Coins and a Prayer - The Epic Journey of a World War II Bomber Pilot and POW” is 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27, at The Museum of Flight in Seattle.

Former Bellevue City Councilman and Air Force Lt. Col James Keeffe Jr.—now 88 years old—was shot down over Holland in 1944. He lived with a series of brave citizens who sheltered him as well as  persecuted Jews and members of the Résistance from the Nazis.

Jim’s war stories fascinated his sons, who finally convinced him to tell all. James Keeffe III spent nine years documenting his father’s memories and has now published a book that has won a number of prestigious awards and resulted in next month’s planned reunion with Helen Cohen-Berman of Israel, who will travel to Bellevue to visit the Keeffe family.  She was 8 years old when Keeffe was smuggled into the apartment of a Rotterdam dentist and his wife, where Helen and five others were in hiding.  Until recently, the Keeffe family knew only that Helen had survived the war.  Soon, they will learn the rest of her story and Two Gold Coins and a Prayer may need one more chapter.

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