Escape From Corregidor synopsis: Escape from Corregidor, first published in 1958, is the harrowing account of Edgar Whitcomb, a B-17 navigator who arrives in World War II Philippines just before its capture by the invading Japanese.
Whitcomb manages to evade the enemy on Bataan by travelling to Corregidor Island in a small boat.
However, his efforts to escape eventually fail and he is captured but later manages to escape at night in an hours-long swim to safety.
After weeks of struggle in a snake-infested jungle, he sailed by moonlight down the heavily patrolled coast, only to fall, once again, into the clutches of the enemy.
Facing captors, Ed Whitcomb took a desperate chance for freedom. Clenching his fists, he said: “My name is Robert Fred Johnson, mining employee.”
This is the story of a man who vowed never to give up. He assumed the identity of a civilian and lived another man’s life for almost two years. Neither hunger, nor beatings, nor the long gray hopelessness of prison life could shake Ed Whitcomb’s determination to escape the enemy and return home to Indiana.
‘One of the most frank, and readable personal narratives of service in the Philippines, and escape from Japanese captivity’ – Pacific Wrecks
Edgar Doud Whitcomb (November 6, 1917 – February 4, 2016) was an American politician, who was the 43rd Governor of Indiana. He enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps in 1940 and was deployed to the Pacific Theater. He was commissioned as a Lieutenant in 1941 and made an aerial navigator. He served two tours of duty in the Philippines and was promoted to Second Lieutenant. During the Philippines Campaign, Whitcomb’s base was overrun; he was captured by the Japanese and was beaten and tortured by his captors, but was able to escape. Recaptured a few days later, he escaped a second time and was hunted for several more days but was able to evade his pursuers. He escaped by swimming all night through shark-infested waters to an island unoccupied by the Japanese army. He was eventually able to secure passage to China under an assumed name where he made contact with the United States Army and was repatriated in December 1943. Escape from Corregidor, his memoir of war-time experiences, was first published in 1958. He was discharged from active duty in 1946, but he remained in the reserve military forces until 1977 holding the rank of colonel. In retirement Whitcomb still sought adventure, with a six-year, around-the-world sailing trip.