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They Fought Alone by John Keats
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They Fought Alone

by John Keats

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When the Japanese conquered the Philippines in 1942, most American soldiers surrendered. However, a few did not. They fled into the jungle and mountains living with the locals and in many cases battling the Japanese any way they could. One of these men, organized some of these Americans plus 1000's of Filipinos into a fighting force that tied down 1000's of Japanese soldiers. That man was Wendell Fertig and this is his story. ( )
  lamour | Mar 1, 2012 |
This is the story of Col. Wendell Fertig, a mining engineer who chose to take his chances in the jungle in 1942 on the Japanese-occupied island of Mindanao in the Philippines. It's the story of how Fertig not only survived but also thrived and led his men for three years behind enemy lines. Fertig and a handful of Americans led thousands of Filipinos in a war against the Japanese, making bullets out of curtain rods and telegraph wire from iron fence. Fertig's homemade communications system was MacArthur's eyes and ears in the Philippines. When the Americans finally returned to Mindanao, they found Fertig in control of one of the world's largest islands, commanding an army of 35,000, and at the head of a civil government with its own post office, law courts, currency, factories, and hospital.

Wendell Fertig was my grandmother's first-cousin. He's my genealogical "claim to fame." Seriously, I remember meeting him when this book came out. He was an impressive, commanding presence--you didn't forget meeting Wendell Fertig. ( )
  labwriter | Feb 14, 2010 |
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The time: 1942. The place: The Japanese-occupied island of Mindanao in the Philippines. The Story: A stirring true account of a man who refused to be defeated. When the American forces in the Philippines surrendered in May, 1942, a mining engineer named Wendell Fertig chose to take his chances in the jungle. What happened to him during nearly three years far behind enemy lines is the amazing story that John Keats tells in They Fought Alone. For Fertig, with the aid of a handful of Americans who also refused to surrender, led thousands of Filipinos in a seemingly hopeless war against the Japanese. They made bullets from curtain rods; telegraph wire from iron fence. They fought off sickness, despair and rebellion within their own forces. Their homemade communications were MacArthur's eyes and ears in the Philippines. When the Americans finally returned to Mindanao, they found Fertig virtually in control of one of the world's largest islands, commanding an army of 35,000 men, and at the head of a civil government with its own post office, law courts, currency, factories, and hospitals. John Keats, who also served in the Philippines, has captured all the pain, brutality, and courage of this incredible drama, in which many memorable men and women play their parts. But They Fought Alone is essentially the story of one man-a testament to the ingenuity and sheer guts of an authentic American hero.… (more)

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