Rescue at Los Baños: The Most Daring Prison Camp Raid of World War II

Rescue at Los Baños: The Most Daring Prison Camp Raid of World War II

by Bruce Henderson
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Rescue at Los Baños: The Most Daring Prison Camp Raid of World War II by Bruce Henderson

From the bestselling author of Hero Found comes the incredible true story of one of the greatest military rescues of all time, the 1945 World War II prison camp raid at Los Baños in the Philippines—a tale of daring, courage, and heroism that joins the ranks of Ghost Soldiers, Unbroken, and The Boys of Pointe du Hoc.

In February 1945, as the U.S. victory in the Pacific drew nearer, the Japanese army grew desperate, and its soldiers guarding U.S. and Allied POWs more sadistic. Starved, shot and beaten, many of the 2,146 prisoners of the Los Baños prison camp in the Philippines—most of them American men, women and children—would not survive much longer unless rescued soon.

Deeply concerned about the half-starved and ill-treated prisoners, General Douglas MacArthur assigned to the 11th Airborne Division a dangerous rescue mission deep behind enemy lines that became a deadly race against the clock. The Los Baños raid would become one of the greatest triumphs of that war or any war; hailed years later by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Colin Powell: “I doubt that any airborne unit in the world will ever be able to rival the Los Baños prison raid. It is the textbook operation for all ages and all armies.”

Combining personal interviews, diaries, correspondence, memoirs, and archival research, Rescue at Los Baños tells the story of a remarkable group of prisoners—whose courage and fortitude helped them overcome hardship, deprivation, and cruelty—and of the young American soldiers and Filipino guerrillas who risked their lives to save them.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062325075
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 12/15/2015
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 502,356
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Bruce Henderson is the author or coauthor of more than twenty nonfiction books, including the #1 New York Times bestseller And the Sea Will Tell. He lives in Menlo Park, California.

Table of Contents

1 The Fall of Manila 1

2 Prisoners of the Japanese 30

3 Los Baños Internment Camp 50

4 Sky Soldiers 72

5 "You'll Be Eating Dirt" 105

6 Return to the Philippines 129

7 Freedom Week 163

8 Under the Cover of Darkness 192

9 The Killings 221

10 "Do It Right, Joe" 237

11 The Escapes 263

12 The Los Baños Force 281

13 "Rescue Must Come Soon!" 302

14 "The World Will Be Watching" 315

15 The Raid 339

16 Rescue 373

17 "God Was with Us" 400

Epilogue: The Fate of Sadaaki Konishi 412

Dramatis Personae 452

Sources 469

Appendix: The Camp Roster 485

Bibliography 525

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Rescue at Los Baños: The Most Daring Prison Camp Raid of World War II 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great account of a lesser-known rescue during WW II which kept my attention throughout
Anonymous 11 months ago
GP Cox A graphic and detailed chronicle of a wartime rescue that far too many have never heard about, or fail to recall. This story can make the most unbelieving person agree to the presence of fate. Being outside the jurisdiction of the 11th Airborne Division plus the fact that the prisoner's graves were already dug makes this such a remarkable event. I can well understand why Gen. Henry Muller has been inducted into the Intelligence Hall of Fame!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story of heroism and strong faith. Well written to keep your interest. The internees went through hell and the author does great job in putting reader in the events. His military story comes out like a good war novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
I had the distinct opportunity to review Rescue at Los Banos, which gives the reader an in-depth look at the Santo Tomas Internment Camp during the beginning of WWII in which many American's were imprisoned for more than three years while waiting to be rescued. Not only do you gain the insight on what it was like for those who were imprisoned but also what types of military campaigns were being waged at that time in the Pacific, after the bombing at Pearl Harbor. As Japanese soldiers guarding the American prisoners, most of them civilians at the Los Banos Internment Campe, conditions began to rapidly deteriorate as they began to systematically starve, beat and killing their captives. Most held behind the razor wire fences hoped that the war would be over soon, but as time stretched most faced the horrors of war as those who were their captors ignored plain evidence that they were dying and facing disease and malnutrition. Bruce Henderson, tells the dramatic story of accounts at the Japanese prison camps including detailed analysis of the complex military operations being planned and carried out. He tells the story of ordinary men and women thrust into the unspeakable horrors of World War II and the valiant heroes who would eventually saved those who were left. Military preparations are shared as well as strategy challenges of dealing with a military that wasn't prepared for jungle warfare at the hands of General Douglas MacArthur. The three pronged attacks of deploying troops by land, air and sea had to be carried out in absolute darkness in order to be successful using all types of technology available at the time which isn't half as well as we have it today. I received Rescue at Los Banos by Bruce Henderson compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions contained here are strictly my own. This is by far one of the most daring prison camp raids of WWII and the photographs that accompany each chapter, gives life to what each had to endure, including some photographs snapped inside the prison by those held captive. I love it when you can get a sneak peek inside some of the stories most of us miss from history and applaud Bruce Henderson for providing it in this comprehensive hardcover book. Well worth every single 5 out of 5 stars in my mind. Being a huge WWII lover, I will be adding this one to my growing collection.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago