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The public is invited to “Landing Craft Infantry 449: Auburn’s Lt. Byron Yarbrough and the Battle for Iwo Jima," a talk by Dennis Blocker, on Thursday, March 31 at 4 p.m. at Pebble Hill.
 
Dennis Blocker is the Pacific War Historian for the National Landing Craft Infantry Association and is affiliated with the National Museum of the Pacific War. Blocker spent 14 years researching the crew of Landing Craft Infantry 449, collecting hundreds of interviews with sailors who survived the battle and families of the men killed in the fight.

Blocker’s research was turned into "The Heart of Hell" by Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist Mitch Weiss. "The Heart of Hell" is the untold story of the crew of Landing Craft Infantry 449.

One crew member featured in the book is Byron Chew Yarbrough, the son of Cecil and Bertha Mae Yarbrough. Byron was born on February 4, 1920 and grew up at Pebble Hill. He graduated from Alabama Polytechnic Institute and enlisted in the Navy, commissioned Lieutenant Junior Grade. He was stationed in the Pacific on LCI 449, and was one of the many killed in battle on February 17, 1945.

The event is free, open to the public, and will be followed by refreshments. Books will be available for purchase and signing. The Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts and Humanities at Pebble Hill is located at 101 S. Debardeleben St. The historic 1847 Scott-Yarbrough house, known as Pebble Hill, will be open for tours from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information on the program, call 844-4903 or visit the website.