The Sea Was My Last Chance

Memoir of an American Captured on Bataan in 1942 Who Escaped in 1944 and Led the Liberation of Western Mindanao


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SKU: 9780786467440 Categories: , , ,

About the Book

D.H. (Herb) Wills fought the Japanese on Bataan, was captured and imprisoned for a year at the infamous Cabanatuan camp, then another year at Davao prison, on Mindanao. Embarking for dreaded imprisonment in Japan in 1944, he dove overboard and swam four miles back to Mindanao where he joined the ragtag guerrillas, electing to stay and fight until the island’s liberation rather than leave by submarine. Successful campaigns by the Filipino guerrillas, led by Lt. Wills, at Misamis, Malaband, and Dipolog were instrumental in the liberation of Mindanao.

About the Author(s)

The late Donald H. Wills (May 23, 1918–December 1, 1997) received the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Air Medal for his efforts at Mindanao. He lived in Richardson, Texas.
Reyburn W. Myers, formerly of the American Red Cross, wrote for Stars and Stripes during World War II.

Bibliographic Details

Donald H. Wills with Reyburn W. Myers
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 187
Bibliographic Info: photos, maps, facsimiles, index
Copyright Date: 2011 [1992]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6744-0
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8765-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii

Foreword      ix

List of Maps and Illustrations      xiii

The Philippine Islands      xv

1. Escape      1

2. Surrender and Prison      13

3. Cabanatuan Prison Camp      26

4. Davao Prison Camp      36

5. Contact with Guerrillas      54

6. Life with the Guerrillas in the Hills      63

7. A Moro Wedding      70

8. Hunting Moro Bandits      75

9. The Long Hike      79

10. Guerrilla Headquarters      89

11. Camp X      93

12. Attack on Misamis      101

13. Reorganizing Guerrilla Headquarters      122

14. The Malabang Campaign      136

15. The Dipolog Campaign      149

16. Home—and Back to the Philippines      162

Index      167

Book Reviews & Awards

“has much on daily life of people in that sparsely populated area…one of the few American memoirs to give credit to guerrillas”—The Cellar Book Shop; “a fascinating story of courage, perseverance, spirit and luck under dangerous and trying circumstances…will remind readers of the immense sacrifices made by men and women who defended Bataan and Corregidor in the early dark days of America’s involvement in World War II”—VMI Alumni Review.