Beyond The Call: The True Story of One World War II Pilot's Covert Mission to Rescue POWs on the Eastern Front

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This inspiring true story of veteran Air Force bomber pilot Robert Trimble, who laid his life on the line to rescue World War II POWs on the Eastern Front.

Near the end of World War II, thousands of Allied ex-prisoners of war were abandoned to wander the war-torn Eastern Front. With no food, shelter, or supplies, the POWs were an army of dying men. As the Red Army advanced across Poland, the Nazi prison camps were liberated. In defiance of humanity, the freed Allied prisoners were discarded without aid. The Soviets viewed POWs as cowards, and regarded all refugees as potential spies or partisans.

The United States repeatedly offered to help, but were refused. With relations between the Allies strained, a plan was conceived for an undercover rescue mission. In total secrecy, the OSS chose an obscure American air force detachment stationed at a Ukrainian airfield. The man they picked to undertake it was veteran 8th Air Force bomber pilot Captain Robert Trimble.

With little covert training, Trimble took the mission. He would survive by wit, courage, and determination. This is the compelling, true story of an American hero who risked everything to bring his fellow soldiers home to safety and freedom.

INCLUDES PHOTOS
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About the author

Lee Trimble was born in 1950, the son of Captain Robert M. Trimble. He was educated in science and technology at Pennsylvania State University and received an MS at Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey. He worked in research and development on lasers, electronics, and semiconductors, and has been a scientific writer and reviewer for various scholarly and professional journals. He has lately retired from the tech world, and works rehabilitating problem dogs, including work in conjunction with SPCA International and the U.S. military on “Operation Baghdad Pups.”

Jeremy Dronfield is a multi-faceted writer, biographer, and novelist, with a special interest in WWII aviation. He began in archaeology, gaining his PhD at Cambridge University. In 1997 his debut novel, The Locust Farm, was a bestseller in the United Kingdom. He is also the author of Resurrecting Salvador, Burning Blue (a novel about the experiences of a U.S. pilot in WWII), and the critically acclaimed The Alchemist’s Apprentice. He is also coauthor of several historical biographies, including one about the life of the Russian spy Moura Budberg.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin
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Published on
Feb 3, 2015
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Pages
352
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ISBN
9780698167087
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Military
History / Military / World War II
History / Modern / 20th Century
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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“[A] truly uplifting tale of deliverance from certain death… a deeply personal read, in which the reader is drawn into the highs and lows of the action, the tragedy and the salvation, because Moore has so successfully drawn out the characters…. Compelling reading and hard to put down.”—Naval History

The heroic story of eleven American POWs who defied certain death in World War II—As Good as Dead is an unforgettable account of the Palawan Massacre survivors and their daring escape.  

In late 1944, the Allies invaded the Japanese-held Philippines, and soon the end of the Pacific War was within reach. But for the last 150 American prisoners of war still held on the island of Palawan, there would be no salvation. After years of slave labor, starvation, disease, and torture, their worst fears were about to be realized. On December 14, with machine guns trained on them, they were herded underground into shallow air raid shelters—death pits dug with their own hands. 

Japanese soldiers doused the shelters with gasoline and set them on fire. Some thirty prisoners managed to bolt from the fiery carnage, running a lethal gauntlet of machine gun fire and bayonets to jump from the cliffs to the rocky Palawan coast. By the next morning, only eleven men were left alive—but their desperate journey to freedom had just begun. 

As Good as Dead is one of the greatest escape stories of World War II, and one that few Americans know. The eleven survivors of the Palawan Massacre—some badly wounded and burned—spent weeks evading Japanese patrols. They scrounged for food and water, swam shark-infested bays, and wandered through treacherous jungle terrain, hoping to find friendly Filipino guerrillas. Their endurance, determination, and courage in the face of death make this a gripping and inspiring saga of survival.
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