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Searchmaster

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 #1 
I wanted to share a few book titles I've run across this year that are related to the subject at hand in that there is at least one wrecked plane in each of them:

Herman the German by Gerhard Neumann

What a find. Got it for .99 plus 3.99 shipping on Amazon. An uplifting story of a German auto mechanic caught in Hong Kong when war broke out who went from being an enemy about to be interned to a well thought of engineer at GE. This guy built a Zero out in the jungle from downer parts that was flown over the Hump and sent Stateside. I'd never even heard of any Zero obtained early in the war other than the Akutan Zero. Yeah, this one will put a smile on your face.

Lost in Shangri La by Mitch Zuckoff(I think)

This one's about a C-47 crash in Borneo and the rescue of the survivors. It is a bit more bittersweet, and includes a return to the crash site and still isolated headhunter village where they  had awaited rescue. A villager is shown and then given a photo of his long deceased dad taken decades earlier during the rescue; I teared right up reading that part and anyone who gives me guff about it gets slugged in the arm.

Hell is so Green by William Diebold

My research keeps me running across cool CBI stuff and this is a fine example. Diebold gets sent to the CBI and on his first day at work they drop him alone (with no jump training)onto the side of a jungle mountain(full of logging stumps) to make contact with the local headhunters and find a downed hump pilot. And it only gets more interesting from there as the Humpties put together their own SAR team and rescued their own for a long time. The book has an "Aw shucks/gee whiz" banter that is a bit over the top but a great read. I got this for .01 cents plus shipping. It is truly a great time to be a spendthrift bookworm.




Mtflyer

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 #2 

Matt, thanks for posting these. I just finished reading about John Boyd and was looking for some new reading material. Ordered Herman the German and Hell is so Green.


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Joe Idoni

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JR

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 #3 
Good recommendations. Besides North Africa, my favorite theatre of WWII is the CBI. The only theatre where Allied forces faced a war of maneuver with a conventional Japanese Army who was completely equipped with all the supporting arms.

Reminds me of the story of an B24 flight engineer who was shot down over Thailand in 1945. He parachuted near a village where the locals hid him from the Japanese until he could be rescued. In 1966, this same flight engineer was now a crew chief with orders to Thailand during the Vietnam War. Of all places, he is stationed at an air base near where his was shot down and is reunited with the same villagers who rescued him, and still remembered him. He established a medical project to treat the locals and raised donations at home to help them.
Searchmaster

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 #4 
I forgot to add "The Saga of CNAC #53" by Fletcher Hanks-This one is about a Hump pilot's quest to reach a buddy's downed plane during and long after the war. it is told in a back and forth fashion that can be hard to follow but it is also a period gem. I am still wondering about Hanks' claim that  Chinese cargo kickers were sometimes launched by a rudder wag from the cargo doors during rice drops and that one survived. He says that a Chinese Army commander complained to CNAC that a pallet of rice had been dropped on one of his soldiers and he would have been more upset if there had not been a cargo kicker that rode it down(from about 90 feet with no chute) to replace the dead soldier! They are giving this one away plus shipping used on Amazon as well.
_The_Rookie_

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 #5 
Searchmaster, I don't want to hijack this thread, but thought I would add that there is a video on youtube about Hank's discovery of the site. It includes pictures of the plane.
was also a link to the CNAC website which is here http://www.cnac.org/index.html cheers Ray

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Ray Franco
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 #6 
Ray your post is a thread enhancement, not a hijacking. I hadn't seen that film. There is also youtubeage of Lt Diebold working there radio during a Hump rescue.

The plane shown with the caption "One of a Kind" was a DC-3 with a DC-2 wing mated to it to get the wing to the '-2 that needed it. (They couldn't get it inside the DC-3) The DC-2 1/2 as it was called had to stop to refuel on its route to the downed '-2 and the pilot was asked if he could haul passengers. Keep in mind the right wing is like 7 feet shorter than the left. The pilot thought about it for a second and then said, "Yeah, go ahead and load her up." Just another day at CNAC. I saw that in yet another CBI gem, 'Wings Over China'. It is the story of William Langhorne Bond who headed CNAC for Pan Am and the Nationalists during the war. I forget who penned it. Probably should have made the original list but hey, so many books, so little time, right?
bigun1_6605

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 #7 
Herman the German had is picture on the cover of Life Magazine. They called it "GI in a jam". Became a top engineer in jet propulsion at GE. Also a new biography of Hitler is available Monday and offers a different take on the Leader:

'Peter Longerich's "Hitler," to be published on Monday, is a 1,295-page tome that includes material from the diaries of Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels and early Hitler speeches."
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