War wasn’t what Clarence expected . . .
Through the Bataan Death March, through prison camps in the Philippines and Taiwan, through four months aboard a Japanese hell ship, and finally through a forced labor camp at Kosaka, Japan, Bramley never gave up.
This powerful, gripping true story of surviving brutality with optimism and faith is guaranteed to remind you to never lose hope—not in yourself, not in your country, and not in the values for which it stands.
As General MacArthur sailed away from the Philippines vowing to return, he left behind him many American soldiers that had been swept up by the victorious Japanese tide of invasion. One such man was Lt.-Colonel William Edwin ‘Ed’ Dyess, he and his unit of the 21st Pursuit squadron flew their obsolete P-40 Warhawks against the superior Japanese fighters until no more planes remained. Undaunted he fought on as an infantryman before his eventual capture by the Japanese his deeds of selfless bravery were legendary, including giving his own plane to a fellow aviator so he could fly to safety.
Dyess and his brave men deserved a better fate than that which awaited them at the hands of their Japanese captors on the infamous Bataan Death March. Driven north from Bataan, the American and Philippino prisoners were beaten, starved and prodded at the tip of the bayonet toward prison camps that had been callously unprovided with the basic means of existence. In the only successful mass prison escape, Dyess along with his men broke out of their prison camp and made contact with resistance groups. After a time waging further Guerilla operations, Dyess and two other American servicemen were evacuated by submarine to Australia. As Dyess recuperated the American Government knowing the effect that the truth of the atrocities committed by the Japanese would galvanize public opinion allowed the release of his story via the Chicago Tribune. The story created a huge storm of outrage directed at the Japanese and of respect and admiration for Dyess and his fellow soldiers who had endured so much on their behalf. Dyess returned to active service as soon as was possible but tragically died in an airplane accident in 1943, a hero to his men and country.
A tragically vivid and gruelling account of one of the most heroic escape stories yet told.
The author, Robert W. Levering, through love of country and inherent natural instincts of character and principle, elected to follow his comrades in arms to the field of battle rather than accept the comparative safety offered to civilian internees in “Santo Tomas.”
Held prisoner for three horrific years, Jackson survived the war and penned his memoir, though it went unpublished and forgotten for decades. That is until Bruce "Doc" Norton, himself a decorated US Marine veteran, and an acclaimed military historian, brought the memoir to light.
In a rare look into the heart of combat, Sergeant Major Jackson describes the fierce and ultimately losing battle for Corregidor, the surrender of thousands of Marines, and the death marches that followed. And all this was simply a prelude to the fight for survival that would take place in the POW camps. Jackson's memoir gives voice to the thousands of men who fought and died during WWII, in the Pacific. His character and spirit evoke the very definition of the Marine Corps's motto, Semper Fidelis; Always Faithful.