Author Peggy Fisher to discuss ‘Daddy Came Home’ at Monroeville Library
A Pitcairn native is scheduled to read from and discuss a book she wrote to memorialize her father, who survived being a prisoner of war during World War II.
Peggy Fisher, 70, now living in Grove City, still gets emotional talking about what her father – and countless other soldiers – went through during that deadly conflict.
“War is hell. No matter when, how, where … it still haunts me to this day,” Fisher said.
She will give a talk about her self-published book, “Daddy Came Home,” starting at 6:30 p.m. July 30 in the Monroeville Public Library.
Aug. 15 will mark 74 years that Army Cpl. Earl Loughner came home to his family in Pitcairn after being held captive in Japan for three-and-a-half years. Fisher wasn’t yet born in 1945. She came along four years later, while her dad struggled with beriberi, a disease caused mainly by thiamine deficiency that he contracted while in captivity.
She grew to know him for the first seven years of her life, but it took her a lifetime to really understand what he went through, which is an element in her book. He died from a heart attack in 1956.
“I remember my pop-pop took me downstairs and told me my dad had gone to heaven. I wore a fancy dress at the funeral – it was a full military funeral. So taps and guns really bring back a lot of memories,” she said.
Loughner worked on the docks in Kobe, Japan as a prisoner, Fisher said. He was also forced to sleep in an unheated warehouse and he contracted malaria and dysentery, along with beriberi.
He endured beatings and was occasionally forced to stand at attention for hours.
She was inspired to write her father’s story after watching “Unbroken,” a movie that chronicles the life of Army officer Louis “Louie” Zamperini, who survived in a raft for 47 days after crash landing in the ocean during World War II. He was also a prisoner of war in Japan and endured many of the same atrocities as her father.
“It ripped my heart out,” she said. “I kept telling my husband throughout the whole movie, ‘I have information about my dad, I need to do something about it.’ I wanted to keep his legacy alive, to record real history.”
Copies are available at daddycamehome.com. Downloads cost $7.95. Hard copies are $9.95 plus shipping.
Dillon Carr is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Dillon at 412-871-2325, [email protected] or via Twitter .