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More Than Half A Century After It Was Due, Library Book Makes It Home

May 27, 1996

PORT HUENEME, Calif. (AP) _ A library book checked out during World War II has been returned, more than 50 years overdue.

The $3,600 in fines attached to the children’s book ``Bomber Pilot″ would have bought plenty when it was supposed to be turned in _ Dec. 20, 1944.

``I just laughed and laughed,″ said Dixie Adeniran, director of the Ventura County Library Services Agency. ``It’s nice of people to return library books, but sooner than that would be better.″

Aviation buff Pete Payne of Tulsa, Okla., ran across the old book at a yard sale. He looked up Port Hueneme (pronounced why NEE mee), a seaside community 100 miles northwest of Los Angeles, and popped the book in the mail.

``I almost kept it,″ he said. ``Then I said, no, they probably want it back. If it were mine, I would want it back.″

The library caps fines at $6, but librarians had some fun in calculating the hypothetical fine: $3,640. They think the book may have been checked out by the family of a sailor stationed at the Port Hueneme naval base during the war.

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