* Uncompromising account of life as a POW during the Korean War
*Written by the first Navy helicopter pilot to be shot down and taken
prisoner in the history of aviation
On 31 March 1951 a young Navy helicopter pilot, Lt. John W. Thornton, volunteered for a dangerous mission to rescue a key intelligence unit trapped on a high ridge behind enemy lines in Korea. Although he wrecked his craft in the operation, he immediately directed other helicopters to the scene to evacuate the marooned personnel. His resourcefulness and bravery- he gallantly refused to be rescued himself, despite rapidly advancing enemy forces - won him the Navy Cross.
This first-hand account of his exploits that day and during the following three years he spent in captivity tell of courage, cruelty and compassion. His descriptions of combat are chilling, and his account of brainwashing is revealing and not without humour.
The book earned high acclaim on first publication in 1981; now back in print after twenty-three years it promises to attract new generations wanting to learn about the Korean War and its often overlooked heroes.
John W. Thornton, a retired captain in the U.S. Navy who died in January 2004. He was the first Navy helicopter pilot to be shot down and taken prisoner in the history of aviation. In addition to the Navy Cross, he earned nearly thirty other medals and citations.