A true Story of Imprisonment and Rescue
In World War II Philippines
A large pit is ready for the mass execution of 2,147 prisoners in the Los Baos concentration camp. At dawn, paratroopers of the 11th Airborne drop from the sky. Filipino guerillas overpower Japanese guards. During the night, fifty-four amphibious tractors have crossed the large lake, around Japanese lines. They arrive, and take all the prisoners to safety. It is one of the most perfectly executed rescues of World War II.
That is but the climax of the exciting story Stephen Smith tells, of his captivity in the Philippines, with his wife Viola, and teen age son Paul. It begins as he enters Manila Bay on a Coast Guard cutter, while bombs are dropping, and sunken ships are still burning. The family lives under house arrest by the Japanese Army in Manila for two and one half years. With no connections to banks in the U.S., Stephen must find enough money to buy food for 70 fellow missionary prisoners.
Daring young Paul, gets a big bang out of celebrating the fourth of July, right in front of his armed Japanese captors. A hardened Japanese veteran of Manchuria, China and Bataan, reveals his hidden humanity. While others are being beheaded in Fort Santiago, a Japanese guard risks his own life to spare the life of a Filipino friend.
At risk of his life, Stephen provides an American flag to a Filipipno guerilla for use in signaling American submarines.In all this struggle, how can the Smiths find the physical, emotional and spiritual resources to survive the crucible of war? This book tells how.
Anton F. Bilek was only twenty-two years old when he was captured in Bataan. No Uncle Sam is his story of survival through the Death March, his imprisonment under horrific conditions in the Philippines and Japan, and his servitude as a slave laborer in the Japanese coal mines. Bilek addresses the frustration, anger, fear, humor, hope, and courage that he and other Americans shared during their captivity and their silence about these experiences for many years after their release from the POW camps. After almost 40 years Bilek decided to write about his experiences, and this memoir is the result. Those who are interested in history and the incredible resilience of human beings must read this tale of survival.
This is the story of a son tracing his father’s footsteps and discovering a true and inspirational story of courage, faith, and patriotism in the days of Bataan, Corregidor, and Japanese POW camps in WW II. With black-and-white photos.
After completing high school Harv enlisted in the military only to find himself on his way to Europe to serve as a B24 combat navigator –bombardier in the 15th Air Force.
On April 25, 1944 Harv was on a raid to Varese, Italy when the 450th bomb group formation got into the clouds and the plane, Maiden USA, was struck by a force of German ME-109’s.
The Maiden USA suffered severe damage as the Luftwaffe continued to attack.
A number of crew members lost their lives while others were injured and parachuted from the aircraft.
The nineteen year old “Yank” found himself a POW in Hitler’s Third Reich at Stalag Luft III.
He participated in two of the infamous camp evacuation marches that occurred near the end of the war.
Harv relates his experiences as the youngest member of the camps and how he survived.
The book gives the reader a vivid first hand portrayal of a young American’s fear and hope during his capture and confinement by the Germans.
During the ordeal Harv was able to see the humor in a tough situation.