Escape from the Japanese

On this page we will post videos, books, and other materials about escapes from Japanese forces:


Article from the AFEES Newsletter, Summer 2011  (click on the image to enlarge it)  (See also the AFEES Newsletter, Summer (June) 2005, pg. 1, 3.)



Hargesheimer, Fred, The School That Fell From the Sky, This is the story of a Photo Reconnaissance pilot in WWII shot out of the sky over the rain forest of the island of New Britain in the South Pacific. After 30 days alone he was found by friendly natives. Hidden from the nearby Japanese soldiers and later taken to the camp of a team of Australian Commandos who arranged his rescue in a USA submarine. He returned to New Britain in 1963 with his son, Dick, to build a school for the natives who saved his life. Today, over 400 children attend the Airmen’s Memorial School.  Copies of the book are available from Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and AbeBooks.  For the Wikipedia article on Hargesheimer, click here.  For the Veterans History Project on Hargesheimer, click here.  For the New York Times obituary on Hargesheimer, click here.  To view a video by the Hargesheimer family, click here.

Heimann, Judith, The Airmen and the Head Hunters: A True Story of Heroic Tribesmen and the Unlikeliest Rescue of World War II, November 1944: Their B-24 bomber shot down on what should have been an easy mission off the Borneo coast, a scattered crew of Army airmen cut themselves loose from their parachutes—only to be met by loincloth-wearing natives silently materializing out of the mountainous jungle. Would these Dayak tribesmen turn the starving airmen over to the hostile Japanese occupiers? Or would the Dayaks risk vicious reprisals to get the airmen safely home in a desperate game of hide-and-seek?  A cinematic survival story featuring a bamboo airstrip built on a rice paddy, a mad British major, and a blowpipe-wielding army that helped destroy one of the last Japanese strongholds, The Airmen and the Headhunters is also a gripping tale of wartime heroism unlike any other you have read.  Available from Amazon and Barnes&Noble.