Includes ten illustrations and one map.
Clay Blair, Jr., close to Air Force headquarters during the Korean war, heard, as did everyone there, fascinating stories of Air Force pilots who had crashed or been shot down behind enemy lines and then managed, by one means or another, often enduring incredible hardships, to make their way back to U.N. lines. However, at the time, these stories were highly classified and not available for publication. Now Mr. Blair has been allowed to go through these secret files and has studied the full details of these dramatic escapes. The most exciting of these he presents in this book. In addition he has interviewed the men themselves to fill in any missing links in the stories they gave to Air Force officers shortly after their rescue, and to recapture their own personal reactions to their amazing adventures.
Here are unbelievable accounts of the U.N. forces in Korea—for the stories are peopled, not just with Americans, but with Turks and Greeks and ROK’s and friendly North Korean Christians, who often risked their lives to help downed airmen. You can feel the cold and agony of walking forty miles over mountains in temperatures of thirty degrees below with your feet frozen; the horror of spending more than a month in holes dug in the ground only slightly larger than a coffin; the torture of treatment— or lack of it—in a Communist POW hospital; the shattering loneliness of a month on a deserted island — with friendly planes flying over almost every day and ignoring you.
How did one man survive when another failed? What gives some men a courage that surpasses comprehension? How is it possible to live through such experiences and be willing to risk them again? All these questions and many more are answered by Mr. Blair, himself a veteran of Navy submarine warfare, in this startling, thrilling account of Americans at their heroic best.