This week marks Toast & Jam’s 100th episode, and we commemorate by celebrating someone else’s milestone. Fort Worth native Fiske Hanley just turned 100. Becoming a centenarian is impressive but especially considering Fiske survived being a Japanese prisoner of war during World War II. He wasn’t just any prisoner, either. He was a flight engineer on a B-29 shot down on March 27, 1945. The Japanese held a special hatred for B-29 crews that firebombed Tokyo and other major cities. Eight of Fiske’s crewmembers died in the plane crash, but he and a co-pilot survived by parachuting. On land, Fiske was surrounded in a rice paddy and beaten by Japanese farmers before being taken into custody, categorized as a “special prisoner,” and tortured by the dreaded Kempei Tai — the military police for the Imperial Japanese Army. Less than 5 percent of special prisoners survived captivity. Hanley was interrogated, beaten with bamboo clubs and rifle butts, and kept in a cell day and night. He saw no sunlight during captivity and was fed three rice balls a day – half the rations given to regular POWs. He lost half his body weight from starvation. He’d been hit by 20 pieces of shrapnel when his plane was shot down but wasn’t allowed to wash himself or his wounds. He was given flea-and lice-infested blankets to cover himself, and his captors routinely poked his wounds with infected objects to make him sicker. Fiske would have been among the dead had the war not ended six months after his capture. He was liberated and returned to Fort Worth. Nightmares haunted the emaciated 25-year-old, so he began writing a journal to deal with the demons. That memoir became “Accused American War Criminal,” one of two books he wrote about his war experiences. He worked at General Dynamics for 44 years and is retired now and living in an apartment near 7th Street with walls covered by mementos. Being a POW meant he has never taken for granted simple things such as soap, toothpaste, and a soft mattress. He enjoys making speaking engagements and takes pride in writing memorials to deliver at the funerals of friends –– something a 100-year-old person becomes far too familiar with. Fiske has outlived three wives and still enjoys going out dancing. He always asks bands or deejays to play “Tenderly,” a song that has moved him ever since it became a pop hit in 1947 not long after his military service. He had never sung the song out loud until today. Thanks, Fiske, for your service, story, and sweet song. — Jeff Prince