Rescue at Los Baños

The Most Daring Prison Camp Raid of World War II

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Title: Rescue at Los Baños: The Most Daring Prison Camp Raid of World War II
Published by: William Morrow
Release Date: 03/31/2015
Pages: 384
ISBN13: 978-0062325068


As the U.S. victory in the Pacific drew near, desperate Japanese soldiers guarding the civilian prisoners — most of them Americans — at the Los Baños Internment Camp in the Philippines became increasingly sadistic and began starving, beating, and killing their captives. Fearing the loss of countless more lives, General Douglas MacArthur assigned the 11th Airborne Division the dangerous mission of freeing these men, women and children from deep behind enemy lines in a deadly race against the clock.

Rescue at Los Baños weaves together dramatic accounts of life at the prison camp with the daring military operation being planned to rescue the innocents. It is the story of ordinary men and women thrust into the horrors of war and the valiant soldiers determined to save them. The odds against success were steep and the risks were enormous, but the young American paratroopers and Filipino guerrillas responded with unparalleled courage in their heroic efforts to save the POWs.

General Colin Powell has called the raid “a textbook operation for all ages and all armies,” and today it is remembered as one of the most legendary in U.S. military history.


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Rescue at Los Baños reads like an adventure thriller and sheds new light on one of the most compelling stories of World War II… A story well-told, generously illustrated and well-sourced. Anyone who enjoyed Lauren Hillenbrand’s Unbroken or Mitchell Zuckoff’s Lost in Shangri-La should check this one out.”
—James Barber,

“Riveting… Bruce Henderson achieves a high standard of popular history… Rescue at Los Baños artfully blends vibrant character sketches with equally clear military fact, all rendered in vivid color.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“History as exciting as any work of fiction.”
—The Costco Connection

Rescue at Los Baños is a triumph of integrating detailed research and thrill-ride storytelling, worthy of the men who delivered the real event to the pages of history some seventy years ago.”
—Voice of the Angels, 11th Airborne Division Association

“Bruce Henderson has told a wonderfully exciting story of one of war’s greatest rescues with verve, style, and panache. I didn’t even stop for coffee during my reading: it was so classically unputdownable.”
—Simon Winchester, author of The Men Who United the States

Rescue at Los Baños will swell your chest. You’ll pull for the starving civilians inside the Japanese prison camp and cheer for the heroes who’ll risk their lives to save them. By deftly weaving together the stories of the resolute captives and their brave liberators, Bruce Henderson’s powerful account has earned a place on the top shelf of World War II nonfiction narratives.”
—Mitchell Zuckoff, author of 13 hours and Lost in Shangri-La

“An epic survival story of men and women held captive in a Japanese internment camp in the Philippines and their remarkable rescue by U.S. paratroopers and Filipino guerrillas three years later. Fast-paced and compelling, Rescue at Los Baños is as gripping as any suspense novel.”
—Vincent Bugliosi, author of Helter Skelter and Reclaiming History

Rescue at Los Baños hits the drop zone. Extensively researched and extremely well written, Bruce Henderson’s riveting account of this historic event of February 23, 1945, finally does justice to the greatest airborne operation in U.S. military history.”
—John D. Lukacs, author of Escape from Davao

“Riveting… Bruce Henderson does it again with his account of the prisoners at Los Baños. I felt their agonies, sacrifices, and exhilaration. Any reader would love this account of individuals triumphing over seemingly impossible obstacles.”
—John Wukovits, author of Hell from the Heavens: The Epic Story of the USS Laffey and World War II’s Greatest Kamikaze Attack

“The agony and anguish for the Japanese-held Los Baños internees — all civilians and including children and small babies — is almost beyond belief. The raid by U.S. paratroopers that set them free is breathtaking.”
—Bill Sloan, author of Undefeated: America’s Heroic Fight for Bataan and Corregidor

“Exciting… Bruce Henderson has managed to pull one of the most daring rescue missions in military history out of obscurity and turn it into a solid book of passion and fascinating details. He has done his readers — and military-history buffs in general — a great service. Rescue at Los Baños is a welcome and long-overdue addition to the literature concerning World War II in the Pacific.”
—Capt. Dale Dye, USMC (Ret.), author of Contra File and Hollywood military advisor