By Bruce Henderson
Rescue at Los Banos tells the enthralling survival tale of greater than thousand prisoners of struggle held within the Philippines by means of the japanese in the course of global battle II—and the elite eleventh Airborne Division's extraordinary, heart-pounding venture to rescue them from deep within enemy territory
As the U.S. victory within the Pacific drew close to, determined jap squaddies guarding the civilian prisoners—most of them Americans—at the Los Baños Internment Camp grew to become more and more sadistic and started systematically ravenous, beating, and killing their captives. Fearing the lack of numerous extra lives if the POWs weren't rescued quickly, common Douglas MacArthur in my view gave the eleventh Airborne department the damaging venture of releasing those males, girls, and kids in a dangerous race opposed to the clock.
In Rescue at Los Baños, number 1 ny instances bestselling writer Bruce Henderson deftly weaves jointly dramatic money owed of lifestyles on the eastern legal camp with specific research of the complicated army operation being deliberate and conducted. He tells the tales of normal women and men thrust into the horrors of conflict and the valiant squaddies decided to avoid wasting them. The project from MacArthur required the coordination of a three-pronged attack—deploying troops by way of air, land, and sea—and it needed to be conducted in darkness, with a eastern infantry department 10000 powerful lurking simply down the line. the percentages opposed to luck have been steep and the dangers have been huge, immense, however the younger American paratroopers and Filipino guerrillas replied with unheard of braveness of their heroic efforts to avoid wasting the prisoners. normal Colin Powell has referred to as the raid "a textbook operation for every age and all armies," and this day it's remembered as the most mythical in U.S. army history.
Combining own interviews, diaries, correspondence, memoirs, and huge archival learn, Rescue at Los Baños records the fabulous tale of a gaggle of prisoners of war—whose fortitude helped them conquer difficulty, deprivation, and cruelty—and of the younger U.S. squaddies and Filipino guerrillas who risked their lives to aim to save lots of them.
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Extra resources for Rescue at Los Banos: The Most Daring Prison Camp Raid of World War II
Ben Edwards was once prepared for his go back to Los Baños. A LONE, DRAB-GREEN C-47 SKYTRAIN MADE a coarse touchdown at Nichols box, the place strive against engineers have been nonetheless operating feverishly to fill in craters and service different harm to the runways. The pilot used to be significant Don Anderson, of Davis, California, the youthful-looking commander of the sixty fifth Trooper provider Squadron dependent in Leyte. His squadron flew the workhorse plane for sporting troops, shipment, and paratroopers in either theaters of conflict. that they had arrived within the Southwest Pacific in summer season 1943, flying their two-engine C-47s—the army model of the preferred DC-3—from San Francisco to Australia, a visit that had taken them over water for a distance equivalent to approximately midway world wide. With the C-47’s variety of just a thousand miles at a cruising velocity of a hundred and fifty mph, that intended plenty of island hopping. for many of the pilots, it additionally intended flying out of sight of land for the 1st time of their lives, now not a comfy feeling in undesirable climate or transparent skies. For months now, they'd been dependent first out of recent Guinea after which Leyte, flying troops and load anywhere they have been wanted within the South Pacific. Anderson was once taken by means of jeep to department headquarters, the place he met Henry Muller and Doug Quandt. Anderson proven that 9 of his C-47s could arrive at Nichols box on February 22 to drop a firm of paratroopers at Los Baños at 7 A. M. the next morning. Given the runway stipulations, Anderson admitted his problem that the planes have been now scheduled to take off in the dead of night. totally loaded with paratroopers, they'd be at their greatest takeoff weight. If a pilot was once not able to prevent a crater at the hours of darkness, certainly one of his plane’s entrance touchdown gears may well snap off, and the plane might turn out cartwheeling around the box. If its gas tanks erupted, it can become a dangerous inferno. The planes might have in basic terms their operating lighting fixtures to steer them round the entire holes. Anderson requested Quandt to thrust back the time, even simply fifteen mins. Quandt idea it not going yet agreed they can jointly ask the final. After Swing heard Anderson out, he made one in every of his average speedy judgements. “Young man,” he growled, nailing Anderson together with his glare, “the leap time is seven o’clock sharp. You’d goddamn higher be there. ” Anderson spent a pair extra hours being briefed by way of Quandt and Muller, who introduced out maps, charts, and aerial photos of the camp and the encircling region. On a topographical map he spotted a low-slung hill simply north of the drop quarter. “We’ll be coming in very low over that hill,” he stated. “We’d be sitting geese for an enemy laptop gunner there. ” What he used to be considering yet didn’t say used to be: Hell, they can throw rocks and hit us. Muller instructed him recon scouts have been simply again from reconnoitering the realm, and so they had came upon no enemy positions at the hill. additionally, P-38 opponents will be offering hide in case of any enemy threats at the floor or within the air. Anderson had by no means dropped paratroopers from the sort of low altitude. He will be major the flight over Laguna de Bay, and whilst it was once time they'd decelerate, descend, and flow into three-plane V formations—known as “drop formations”—tucked tightly jointly.