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WOODEN BOATS & IRON MEN: A World War II sailor's life story and his passion to help save one of the last surviving PT Boats


When the author found two letters written by her now deceased father while he was on the battlefront of World War II, she knew she had to find a World War II veteran still living amongst us and tell his story. She found her veteran.

Every veteran has a story. This is the life account of a World War II PT sailor whose love for the motor torpedo boat has lasted over seventy years. When the eighteen-year-old Oklahoman stepped onto the deck of the PT boat for the first time in 1944, his life was forever entwined with the PT boat.

This is also the story of the rescue of PT-658 when a group of silver-haired Navy veterans set out to find and restore a surviving motor torpedo boat. When they found PT-658, she was half sunk and rotting in an estuary of San Francisco Bay. Through the efforts of this PT sailor and other veteran sailors and volunteers, the grand lady is back. PT-658 is the only fully operational World War II PT boat remaining in the world.

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Lilly Robbins

Lilly Robbins Brock and her husband live in a quiet country coastal setting on the Columbia River. She began her business as an interior designer in 1980, and has recently retired. Living in the country is the ideal environment for Lilly to pursue her lifelong desire to write. She also enjoys gardening, and realized her pioneer family’s planter blood is alive and well within her. Her book, Food Gift Recipes From Nature’s Bounty was inspired by the garden and orchard. Preserving the food evolved into the idea of sharing some of that food—the gift of food.

Lilly loves history and one of her passions has been researching the genealogy of her family. She was born and raised in Olympia, Washington where her pioneer family homesteaded in the late 1800s. She has been working on a historical fiction novel, Intrepid Journey, about a family in the 1850s traveling on a paddle wheel steamship from New York to the rugged Pacific Northwest via the dangerous South American route. It’s a revealing glimpse into the past of what life was like at that time.

Her book, Intrepid Journey, was put on hold when she discovered two letters written by her now deceased father while he was on the battlefront of World War II. The letters inspired her to find a World War II veteran still living and tell his story. She found her veteran and wrote Wooden Boats & Iron Men to honor him and all veterans.

She has now written a second World War II veteran’s story in her book, Ever A Soldier.

Lilly feels that every veteran has a story, and at least she has been able to shine a light on these two extraordinary men.


To stay tuned in to current and upcoming projects, please feel free to visit, or if you have any questions or comments, you may contact her at




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