Every American should know Capt. Jerry Yellin’s story. If we have to tell you about his connection to the beautiful Scarlett Johansson in order for you to find out, so be it. Capt. Yellin flew the last aerial combat mission during WWII. During that mission 2nd Lt. Philip Schlamberg was killed, making him the last KIA during WWII.
Schlamberg’s older brother, Michael, had a daughter named Melanie who married the Danish architect Karsten Johansson. Melanie and Karsten gave birth to Scarlett Johansson on November 22, 1984. Long story short, Scarlett Johansson’s great uncle was the last american hero to sacrifice his life to defeat the axis powers.
A letter on History.net describes the events on the day of the last aerial combat mission of WWII:
“Iwo Jima-based P-51 Mustang pilot Jerry Yellin of the 78th Fighter Squadron “Bushmasters,” was tasked with strafing Japanese airfields near Tokyo. With news of Japan’s surrender expected at any minute, both hoped to receive the recall order before they reached their respective targets—but it was not to be.
At the previous day’s briefing, Yellin’s wingman, 19-year-old 2nd Lt. Philip Schlamberg, had leaned over to him and said, “Captain, if we go, I’m not coming back.” Yellin responded, “What are you talking about?” Schlamberg said, “It’s just a feeling I have.” On the morning of August 14, Yellin told him, “Just stay close on my wing, tuck it in tight, you’ll be OK.” After completing their strafing mission, “Schlamberg was close in on my wing,” Yellin recalled. “I gave him the thumbs-up, he gave me a thumbs-up. I led my flight of four airplanes into some clouds. When I came out of the clouds, he was gone. Nobody heard anything, nobody saw anything. When we landed on Iwo Jima, we found out that while we were strafing, the war had been over for three hours.” Although there would be additional casualties in the coming days, and the war would not officially end until the September 2 Japanese surrender ceremony, Schlamberg was among the very last to die in World War II.”