Escape to Freedom: An Airman's Tale of Capture, Escape and Evasion Hardcover – 22 Jan 2002
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Top Customer Reviews
The exploits of my parents generation in WW2 never cease to amaze me.
A relatively unassuming account of what, in reality, was a very stoic and quite brave attempt of an extremely young (19-21) man, caught up in the horror of war, to adapt to a life of adversity in the various POW camps, attempting to stay alive and, if possible, make a successful escape.
As well as being an excellent account of his experiences - quite a feat of memory (though I expect that some of the events described would be etched into memory for life) - the background detail has obviously been extremely well researched, in supplying accurate information about squadron operations and loses, and details and locations about the POW camps in which he was incarcerated.
Though clearly not in reality a laughing matter - especially to those killed or injured - the story about someone dropping a cigarette into the sceptic tank at one of the camps cannot be other than highly amusing! The attendant explosion demolishing the latrine hut, much to the surprise and consternation of the incumbents, and covering the nearby POWs with something other than glory, is described with the type of black humour that probably helped POWs survive those difficult and trying times.
Having read several books relating to POW camps, escape and evasion, I can say that this one ranks with the best of them, in being an honest and interesting personal account, and can be recommended.
It would have been good to find out if the nastier of the camp Commandants and guards mentioned eventually received their just deserts, but I guess that finding out such information may well be impossible, regardless of any amount of research.
To be in a prisoner of war camp and get the dreaded Dear John letter (you'll have to read the book to see what results)
He shows the enlisted person's perspective.
Tony Johnson is held in high regard by the other survivors of the "Caterpillar" Club and has been consulted by various author's and television companies. So they obviously like his book and him as a person.
And yes I am fortunate to be able to call him a friend. But that doesn't mean that I have given him a biased review.
Just read the book and make your own mind up.
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