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By Drew Lawson
The Times 

Lilje remembers WWII naval service

War ended one month after Davenport local finished training


Last updated 6/3/2021 at 4:39pm

Drew Lawson | The Times

World War II veteran and long-time Davenport local Joe Lilje remembers his service and his career as the owner of Davenport Auto.

DAVENPORT – Joe Lilje had completed his Naval flight training and was ready to serve in the Pacific flying planes onto aircraft carriers in 1945. A month later, however, Japan surrendered after the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the war was over.

That's not the story Lilje prefers to tell, however.

"My story is that the enemy got word that I was ready to join the fleet and they surrendered," Lilje said.

The 98-year-old Davenport local who has lived here since 1951 was born in Newport, WA in 1923. His father was a rural mail carrier, and his mother w...

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