Pacific War Memoirs

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Dan W.
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Re: Pacific War Memoirs

Post by Dan W. » 02 Aug 2019 02:24

Well, I finished Rescued By Mao and I have to say, reading that book about his experiences was simply unforgettable. I imagine that I'll remember parts of his story for the rest of my life. I don't want to give away too much, such as his experiences in captivity (suffice to say that he did not suffer as much as those fliers shot down over Japan, or nearly as much as anyone sent to Japan) but his bold escape from captivity in China, and his experiences with the Paluchun (Communist Chinese) are fascinating. He was treated like a dignitary as he was shuttled across northern China, the only American POW to do so in WWII. Because of this the communists considered him one of their own, and went to great lengths to both protect and care for him. They faced both the Japanese and their puppet Chinese troops as they moved at night from one safe house to another.

Before he was finally flown out he was stopped from boarding the plane by a couple jeep loads of Chinese soldiers, because Mao wanted to meet him for the first time before leaving. It was there that the communist leader met him and posed for the cover photo. As he flew off to an American outpost, a Korean was seated across from him, his name was Kim Il Sung. When being debriefed by the Americans, they would often ask "who do you think will win the fight, Chiang Kai-Shek or Mao Tse Tung"? and without hesitation Taylor would say "their fight will be over within weeks, maybe a few months. The people hate Chiang Kai-Shek and his soldiers. Their officers wear gaudy uniforms and the troops steal whatever they want from the peasants. The communists all dress alike, no one can take a chicken from someone without full payment, and no one can enter someones home without permission. The people love the communists." The American interrogators did not like his answers, and some even scoffed. Taylor, of course, was right.

Now I'm back with K/3/5 again, reading Battleground- Pacific by Sterling Mace (see Larso's great review here) and I can tell already that this is going to be a great read. Not only well written, but it is unvarnished, gritty, and Mace pulls no punches. He is not afraid of hurting anyones feelings in his retelling of events. I'm certainly looking forward to reading this one, and it probably won't take long.

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