From the New York Times bestselling author of Sons and Soldiers comes the incredible but true story of Dieter Dengler, the only pilot to escape captivity from a POW camp in the Laotian jungle during the Vietnam War.
In February 1966, Dieter Dengler was shot down over "neutral" Laos in jungle territory controlled by Pathet Lao guerrillas and North Vietnamese regulars, who captured and held him in a fortified prisoner-of-war camp. Already a legend in the navy for his unique escape skills, the German-born Dengler proved to be no ordinary prisoner. Caught in a desperate situation, imprisoned by the enemy and by the jungle itself, Dengler set out to free not only himself but also other POWs--American, Thai, and Chinese--some of whom had been held for years.
This amazing story of triumph over seemingly insurmountable odds has been filmed by Werner Herzog as both a documentary (Little Dieter Needs to Fly) and a motion picture (Rescue Dawn, starring Christian Bale). Now Bruce Henderson, who served with Dengler aboard USS Ranger, tells the complete story of Dengler's captivity and remarkable escape--based on in-depth personal interviews as well as military archival materials, some never before made public--in this riveting account of unending optimism, courage, loyalty, and survival against overwhelming odds.