This episode, is released just after the 75th anniversary of the escape of ten American prisoners of war, and two Filipino convicts, from the Davao Penal Colony. The following year when the story broke, the US War Department would call it the ‘greatest story of the war’. The man made famous at the time for escaping, and recounting the story, was Lt. Col. William Edwin Dyess. A fighter pilot who not only fought in the air, but during the defence of Bataan led and amphibious assault as an infantryman.
Joining me to tell us the story of ‘Ed Dyess’ is John Lukacs, who is fighting to get Dyess awarded the Medal of Honor; and keeping his memory alive with the website 4-4-43.com.
One of the greatest Pacific war stories never told. On April 4, 1943, ten American prisoners of war and two Filipino convicts—nicknamed the “Davao Dozen”—executed a daring escape from one of Japan's most notorious prison camps. Called the "greatest story of the war in the Pacific" by the War Depart the War Department in 1944, the full account has never been told—until now. A product of years of in-depth research, John D. Lukacs's gripping description of the escape brings this remarkable tale to life. In this remarkable contribution to the realm of WWII POW narrative, Lukacs describes the dramatic escape for a new generation to admire the resourcefulness and patriotism of the men who fought in the Pacific.
“Like the event it covers, Escape from Davao is unique. You are holding in your hands the story of the only successful American group escape from a Japanese camp.”—James Bradley, author of Flags of Our Fathers
If you remember back in episode 45, I discussed the Barton Brothers with Sally Mott Freeman, Dyess’s story intersects with that as Barton was at the Davao Penal Colony and his brother Bill was in Washington aware of Dyess’s escape.