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Excerpted from Hell Is So Green by William Diebold Copyright © 2011 by William Diebold. Excerpted by permission.
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Posted July 17, 2012
Posted February 26, 2012
I'm not sure whether Bill Diebold was brave or just loved danger, but I think it was bravery. Who else volunteers, with no training at all, to parachute into the Burma jungle on his first day? His reward was to save an injured pilot, but then he had to get him out of the jungle himself without help except for very limited aerial support. He did this repeatedly and successfully, learning as he went, until his own plane crashed and he was injured too badly to continue. He never killed anyone but he saved maybe one hundred of our own men. That is heroism.
Bill's book is a time capsule--he wrote it in 1945 or so but never published it. He writes with the light-hearted unconcern for danger that characterized our nation's attitude coming out of WWII. His style is easy to read, hard to put down and imbued with a sense of humor and love for life that only people who have risked their lives can have.
Books have been written about flying the Burma Hump, but no one has told first-hand of his personal experiences in rescuing the flyers who went down in that effort. This is Bill's only book; I wish he had written more!