Fugitives: Evading and Escaping the Japanese by Bob Stahl

By Bob Stahl

While the japanese Imperial Forces invaded the Philippine Islands on the onset of worldwide battle II, they fast rounded up Allied electorate on Luzon and imprisoned them as enemy extraterrestrial beings. those captured civilians have been taken care of inhumanely from the beginning, and information of the atrocities dedicated by means of the enemy quickly unfold to the extra distant islands to the south. listening to this, a few of the expatriates dwelling there refused to give up as their islands have been occupied. Fugitives: Evading and Escaping the japanese, in response to the memoir of Jordan A. Hamner, tells the genuine tale of a tender civilian mining engineer trapped at the islands throughout the eastern invasion. rather than surrendering, he and American co-workers volunteered their prone to the Allied military engaged within the futile attempt to stave off the enemy onslaught. whilst the beaten defenders surrendered to the invaders, the 3 males fled farther into the disease-ridden mountainous jungle. After approximately a 12 months of nomadic wandering, they discovered a derelict, twenty-one foot lengthy lifeboat in a secluded coastal bay. Hoping to sail to freedom in Australia, the trio switched over the craft right into a sailboat, and known as it the “Or Else.” they'd make it to Australia—or else. With just a nationwide Geographic journal map of the Malacca Islands for navigation, Hamner, his compatriots, and Filipino crewmen sailed their unseaworthy craft fifteen hundred nautical miles over seas managed via the japanese military, touching land in simple terms in short to fill up meager rations or circumvent enemy vessels. After thirty perilous days at sea, marked by way of approximately disastrous encounters with adverse islanders, drawing close hunger, and tropical storms, the determined fugitives reached the welcome beaches of Australia.

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Soon we left the forest and entered the Masbate plains that cover much of the southern half of the island. These seas of cogon grass— plants ranging from five to seven feet tall with long, narrow, razorsharp leaves—extended for mile after mile over rolling hills. Large herds of Brahma cattle grazed there, feeding on the new shoots growing at the base of the plants. There were no trails for us to follow. This was range land, with nothing but grass and cattle in sight to the horizon. We were without a map or a compass, but even with these items we would have been lost in this territory bereft of landmarks.

S. Naval Base at Cavite, in Manila Bay, and Japanese troops had landed at Aparri, on the north coast of Luzon, and at Vigan, on its west coast. We became more concerned seventy-two hours later on hearing the Japanese had landed at Legaspi, near the southern tip of Luzon, and attempted to land at Lingayen. Apparently, very little was being done to stop them, although our troops had successfully repulsed the landing at Lingayen. But we knew that most of our troops were in the Manila area, and rapid troop movement from there to the landing areas was difficult.

44 Fugitives five PANAY A single-engine Grumman flying boat later joined the fleet. Navy men had retrieved it from almost total submersion off Bataan, replaced the engine with one from a plane previously junked, and restored the rest with salvaged parts from other wrecks. It lacked a tail wheel and most of the fabric under the tail was scraped off. For two weeks we spent most of our time at Capiz, with occasional short trips to Iloilo on the south coast of the island. Life was slow and easy. We were away from the stress that had been our daily regimen on Masbate.

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