Friend's Email: Subject:I have found a book that I think you would enjoy
70,000 to 1: The Story of Lieutenant Gordon Manuel
70000 to 1 The Story of Lieutenant Gordon Manuel Author:Quentin Reynolds Lieutenant Gordon Manuel began his career as a guide in the Maine woods. He learned how to fend for himself for long stretches, and to make the best of his opportunities. The night and the silence of the woods held no terrors for him. — Gordon's early training saved his life when the fortunes of war cast him on the shore of a jungle-studded i... more »sland bristling with enemy troops. He was one American against 70,000 Japs -- with only his bare hands and his ingenuity to see him through. How he won out is a modern Robinson Crusoe story with a thrill on every page.
"The Japs shot down his plane, and for all he knew he was the only survivor. He soaked in the Pacific, clinging to a bit of wreckage, for seven hours. The island he finally sighted looked mighty sweet. What he didn't know was that there were 70,000 Japanese soldiers on that scrap of dirt. He could never have guessed that for the next nine months, he would be hunted like an animal, existing on snakes and snails and bitter-tasting plants, fearful of unfriendly natives. There was a bounty on him. The natives knew that anyone who brought his head to the enemy commander would receive a pack of cigarettes!"« less
A good story to add to my shelf of books about Americans who fought the Japanese from behind the lines during World War II.
The description errs in that Master Sergeant Manuel, he was promoted to lieutenant later, was not really a "Robinson Crusoe." He very quickly fell in with friendly natives who provided him with food, shelter and their friendship. They also helped with his injuries and worked with him to scout Japanese positions. Only one or two natives were pro-Japanese and the friendly natives quickly dealt with them.
However, Manual gives full credit to the natives throughout the book. In fact, he was annoyed when Australian coast watchers treated the natives as untrustworthy.