FOUR CAME HOME by Col. Carroll V. Glines


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This is Colonel Glines' follow-up to his Doolittle's Tokyo Raiders (1964 p. 399) and it is about four times better because it focuses on four men rather than the 16 crews who made the raid. Much of the earlier material is recapitulated to prepare for the drama of the drama of the present story. Originally, six officers and two crewmen were captured on the Chinese coast by the Japanese in 1942. They were tortured with routine fiendishness (the Japanese interrogators had a standard torture technique they'd developed), kept awake in their same clothes for 120 days, starved, and forced to stay with lice and rats in befouled cells. Even worse was separation from each other for long periods. At their trials, they were convicted of fictional atrocities such as strafing hospitals and playgrounds, and three of the men were executed as war criminals. Doolittle's surprise raid on Tokyo had cost Japan much face. A fourth man died of beri-beri. During the incarceration (death sentences commuted to life imprisonment), the remaining men had nothing to read for over a year, and then a Bible was sneaked to them. It proved quite the equal of loaves and wine. All told, they were imprisoned three years, four and one-half months. After their release, one man thought for a year that his freedom was a Japanese trick. Harrowing but inspirational.

Publisher: Van Nostrand