"Somewhere We Will Find You" by Robert Underbrink

Discussion in 'Non-fiction' started by vikingBerserker, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

    Apr 10, 2009
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    Somewhere We Will Find You – Search and Rescue Operations in the CBI, 1942-1945
    By Robert Underbrink
    Merriam Press – 2010 (2nd reprint 2012)
    ISBN 978-1479141968


    With flying “The Hump” becoming more and more common place, the number of accidents increased and thus a way to retrieve the airmen became a greater need. This book is about the rescuing of downed airman by either Allied personnel and/or the local natives who also happen to be head hunters.

    The book is 264 pages long divided into 17 Chapters, 58 pages of photos with a few minor stories interjected between chapters.

    Sometimes these rescues could take months to fully extract out the men. However there are some stories that do not have a happy ending. The book in fact starts off with one of these. Three men bail out of a C-46 on Feb 28th, 1945 with the radioman getting his parachute tangled in some trees, though not too high above the ground. He tries to free himself of his harness and ends up hanging upside down with one leg still stuck in it and his head and shoulders touching the ground. Jungle Ants almost an inch long start to swarm on him from the ground biting him while he struggles to free himself. He takes his .45 and tries to shot the last strap in half. With little of the strap still attached, he uses his final round on himself to end his agony. The rescuers from the 1352nd Search and Rescue Unit find his remains days later, his skull already stripped clean. This area is not an easy place to survive.

    The only issue I really had with the book is in regards to the photos. Some of them are from some of the stories told in the book, but the rest were not and some of them would have made excellent stories in themselves. Case in point pages 213-219 in the photo section shows the Sikorsky YR-4 being used for rescue. Being the first time this had been done I feel an entire Chapter should have been devoted to it. This book could easily have been much longer. There were also a number of grammatical errors and typos as well.

    Beyond that it is truly is a fascinating book.

    I give it 9.5 Parachutes for the stories, but 7 Red Marks from my High School English teacher Mrs Williams for the grammar/typos.

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