23 Things You Should Know About POWs (Prisoners of Wars) – Part 2

Little girl playing with dog in autumn woods

1William E. Dyess

William E. Dyess along with 9 American POWs, with the help of 2 convicts, escaped a Japanese controlled prison simply by walking away. The escape took months to plan and was considered as the only successful mass-escape of Allied POWs from a Japanese camp during the Pacific War.


2Richard Antrim

Captain Richard Antrim was captured in 1942 and held as a POW. During this time, he impressed his captors with his engineering skills and helped the Japanese arrange trenches. From the air, the trenches spelled out “US”, warning bombers not to attack and that it was a POW camp, saving hundreds of lives.


3Alexis Casdagli

During his time as a POW, Alexis Casdagli made numerous cross-stitches. One of them was so good that the Germans displayed them in his POW camp for everyone to see, unaware of a secret message stitched into his handiwork. The message, in Morse code, reads "God save the King" and "F*ck Hitler."


4James N. Rowe

Special Forces intel officer Colonel James N. Rowe was a POW in the Vietnam War. He spent 62 months in captivity, battled numerous diseases, solved engineering problems to disguise he was an intel officer, and escaped via helicopter by over-powering the guards.


5Andrew Jackson

At the age of 13, future U.S. President and current POW Andrew Jackson took a saber to the face from a British officer after he stubbornly refused to shine his boots. He then grew fond of the scar calling it his own badge of freedom.


6Georg Gaertner

A German POW named Georg Gaertner in the US escaped his New Mexico camp in 1945 and stayed on the run for 40 years, before giving himself up after confessing to his American wife.


7Winston Churchill

Former United Kingdom Prime Minister Winston Churchill was held POW in South Africa, and after hearing that his release was unlikely, he made a 300-mile escape by jumping freight trains and walking.


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8Cowra breakout

On August 5, 1944, one of the biggest jail-breaks (Cowra breakout) in history involved hundreds of Japanese POWs attempting to escape an Australian prisoner camp. The Japanese considered the Australians weak because they treated the prisoners well. The breakout ended with 234 Japanese dead and another 108 wounded.


9Sausage documentary

A group of POW during World War 2 recorded a documentary about their imprisonment using a secret camera built with parts smuggled inside sausages.


10Eric Lomax

A British Army officer named Eric Lomax (left in the photo) was a prisoner of war in Japan during World War 2. He was starved, viciously beaten and tortured by a Japanese officer named Nagase Takashi. 50 years after he was released, Eric Lomax met his chief tormentor again and they became great friends.

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