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Miltona native featured on PBS documentary

A Miltona native will be featured in a World War II documentary to be aired nationwide on PBS Television and worldwide on National Geographic Television.

The program, "Japan's Secret Super Sub," centers around a Japanese submarine, the I-400, which had the capability to carry three airplanes in a hangar storage tube that was part of the submarine.

In 1945 at the end of the war, the I-400 surrendered to the U.S. Prize Crew - a group of about 40 Navy personnel chosen at the end of the war to take over operations of captured ships. One member of the Prize Crew was Harry Arvidson of Miltona.

The I-400 was the first Japanese submarine to surrender to the U.S. Navy at the end of World War II. The Prize Crew rode aboard the sub as it made its way into Tokyo Bay following the surrender.

Spy Pond Productions produced the documentary, which includes interviews and information provided by Arvidson and two other World War II submarine veterans, Gordon Hiatt of Michigan and Paul Wittmer of Missouri. The men were flown to Washington, D.C. to be interviewed in January 2009.

The program will be aired Wednesday, May 5 on PBS's "Secrets of the Dead" series at 7 p.m.

Arvidson was born in Miltona in 1925 and attended school there through 8th grade. He attended Alexandria High School until the end of his sophomore year, when he joined the Navy.

He married Lola Hanson, also from that area. The couple resided in the area until 1956, when they moved to Conrad, Montana. They currently spend their summers in Conrad and their winters in Arizona.

In 2001, high school diplomas were offered to veterans who had never received one due to military service. Arvidson received a diploma at that time from Jefferson High School.