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Hero Found: The Greatest POW Escape of the Vietnam War

Written by:
Bruce Henderson
Narrated by:
Todd McLaren

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
June 2010
10 hours 48 minutes
In February 1966, U.S. Navy pilot Dieter Dengler was shot down over 'neutral Laos.' He crashed deep in territory controlled by North Vietnamese army regulars and the communist Pathet Lao, who would eventually capture him and hold him prisoner in a fortified jungle prisoner-of-war camp.

But German-born Dengler was no ordinary prisoner. Already a legend in the Navy for his escape and evasion skills-amply demonstrated during training in the California desert-he would initiate, plan, and lead an organized escape from the POW camp, becoming the longest-held American to escape captivity during the Vietnam War. Caught in a most desperate situation, imprisoned not only by the enemy but by the jungle itself, Dengler's heroic impulse was to not only get himself out but to free all the other POWs-Americans, Thai, and Chinese-some of whom had been held for years.

In a surreal scene of brotherhood and celebration, Dengler returned to his aircraft carrier, the USS Ranger, six months after being shot down-emaciated and ravaged with strange tropical illnesses, but very much alive and joyous to be so-only two weeks before the ship was due to leave the Gulf of Tonkin and return home.

Bruce Henderson served with Dengler aboard Ranger off the coast of Vietnam and here tells Dengler's complete story for the first time, drawing on extensive interviews with the intrepid pilot, his squadron mates, friends, and family, as well as declassified military archival materials, some now available for the first time, and personal letters and journals. Henderson's riveting account amply demonstrates why Dengler's story of unending optimism, innate courage, loyalty, and survival against overwhelming odds remains for his fellow flyers and shipmates the best and brightest memory of their generation's war.
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the narration and author are a perfect combination. never a dull moment and great behind the scenes insight into naval aviation and aviators-a breed apart!! a must!!

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I found this a great story about human endurance and the will to be free. Was interested in the descriptions of the jungle and its plants and insects. The diseases he had to endure in the jungle was amazing he survived. The discussion of flying and about the different planes and life on the aircraft carrier was insightful. Found this an interesting book.

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Was a fast pace page-turner. Dieters heroic actions was proven in 1966 and for many years prior. His wit and Knowlege of escape will hopefully help others in the SEAR program.

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