THE ENDLESS HOURS by Wallace Brown


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In a straightforward, if not to say almost unemotional, style, the author tells a heroic tale of two and one-half years imprisonment by the Chinese Communists as a ""war criminal"" during the Korean War. Brown, now a captain in the U.S. Air Force, was shot down on his first B-29 mission, captured in North Korea and secretly shipped over the nearby border, finally winding up deep in China. With a surprising lack of bitterness he tells of incredible ordeals. Not so much was he subject to outright physical abuse, save occasional blows and kicks, as he was put through months of solitary confinement and subjected to endless series of interrogations as his captors attempted to wring a ""confession"" from him. He was watched day and night -- even made to sleep ""at attention"". In one outstanding feat of endurance he stood at attention for six and one-half days without breaking. Finally, after a ""show trial"" he was found guilty, sentenced, eventually ""pardoned"" and sent home. The Chinese emerge more inscrutable than ever from this book. Why the effort to wrest a ""confession"" from an obscure junior officer? What military information could he have possessed worth the hundreds of hours of interrogation? Brown himself thinks that by the time his trial rolled around, all concerned, except the few who spirited him and the rest of the crew of the B-29 across the border, were convinced the aircraft had actually violated Chinese territory.

Publisher: Norton