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Rescue at Los Baños: The Most Daring Prison Camp Raid of World War II
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Rescue at Los Baños: The Most Daring Prison Camp Raid of World War II

4.07  ·  Rating Details ·  256 Ratings  ·  57 Reviews
From the bestselling author of Hero Found comes the incredible true story of one of the greatest military rescues of all time, the 1945 World War II prison camp raid at Los Baños in the Philippines—a tale of daring, courage, and heroism that joins the ranks of Ghost Soldiers, Unbroken, and The Boys of Pointe du Hoc.

In February 1945, as the U.S. victory in the Pacific drew
Hardcover, 366 pages
Published March 31st 2015 by William Morrow (first published March 30th 2015)
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Stephen I haven't received mine either. Maybe the book needs to be rescued. :)

Community Reviews

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Feb 17, 2016 Marla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very fascinating book. I listened to the audiobook and the narrator did a great job.
Chris Lawson
Feb 27, 2015 Chris Lawson rated it it was amazing

“The trap door spring open with the sound of a rifle shot.”

And that's what happened to the sadistic Japanese camp commander, Sadaaki Konishi on April 30th, 1949. He was found responsible for a systematic starvation of the internees at Los Banos--a starvation that left some dead, and many near death.

RESCUE AT LOS BANOS was a real education for me. Prior to reading this book, I had no idea there been such a terrific internee camp there; nor had I heard about this well-planned rescue. The author do
3.5 stars. I first read about the Los Banos raid earlier this year in We Band of Angels, in which it was just briefly mentioned as part of the larger story of nurses interned in the Philippines. So when I saw there was a new book all about the raid itself, I jumped at it, since the story sounded interesting from the few paragraphs I'd read. For the first half of the book, I found it a little difficult to get into—the writing didn't always flow very well, with occasional distracting convoluted or ...more
Apr 02, 2015 Steve rated it it was amazing
For me I would rank this with Unbroken and Ghost Soldiers. Unlike the Cabanatuan POW raid led by the 6th Ranger Battalion, U.S. Army, This was a raid unknown at Los Banos, a interment camp in the Philippines. In 1945, the 11th Airborne Division of the United States Army raided the POW camp at Los Banos and rescued the POW's.
May 15, 2015 Mike rated it really liked it
Not just another retelling of the near-perfect rescue of over 2,100 civilian internees who were right on the cusp of being executed en masse or dying a not so slow death from starvation and disease.
I have read a few other books about this raid over the years so I was unprepared to discover characters that either were missing from previous books or just given a cursory description. Henderson added more of the human element to the fantastic success of the Los Banos raid. The only area that could
Mar 09, 2015 Janis rated it it was amazing
Henderson tells the story of the civilians held in a Japanese prison camp on the island of Luzon during WWII, and of the soldiers who risked their lives on an incredible mission to rescue them. The raid is still considered an unrivaled operation today, and this account of its unfolding is both informative and full of great tension that keeps the narrative exciting. The complex operation involved coordination between intelligence, paratroopers, guerrillas, and the prisoners themselves – it’s a ...more
Fredrick Danysh
Mar 18, 2016 Fredrick Danysh rated it liked it
Shelves: history, world-war-ii
During World War II the Japanese set up an internment camp for American civilians at Los Banos. Henderson tells the story of several of the survivors and details the trials and tribulations they endured. He also tells of men of 511th Airborne Division which liberated them. This is an interesting addition to the Philippines campaign with information about the civilians.
Jul 19, 2015 James rated it it was amazing
Listened to on cd.

Really loved this story of a rescue of civilians at a Japanese pow camp in the phillipines during WWII.
I love historical reads....and this was quite the interesting one. A little slow for me....but still quite interesting. I'd like to pass this book on to one of my brothers who loves stuff like this and get his take on this book to add to my review. I really think that he would enjoy this read much more than I did. A great fall time book to dive into....a beautiful cover. I won this book in a goodreads giveaway about a year ago and received it almost a year later. Yes...many emails late
Rosalinda Morgan
Oct 18, 2016 Rosalinda Morgan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
As I read passages in this book, it reminds me of some of the events I wrote in my book, "BAHALA NA (Come What May). Los Banos is not that far from Batangas and the atrocities of the Japanese soldiers were rampant everywhere during the Japanese occupation.
The details and preparation for the rescue were well thought of, the soldiers who participated in the rescue were the best. They did their job magnificently and if it was not for them, more prisoners would have died of starvation.
One of the b
Oct 30, 2016 Erin rated it liked it
I couldn't put down the sections about the prison camp. The military-centric chapters were a little less riveting for me.
Kathleen (Kat) Smith
I had the distinct opportunity to review Rescue at Los Banos, which gives the reader an in-depth look at the Santo Tomas Internment Camp during the beginning of WWII in which many American's were imprisoned for more than three years while waiting to be rescued. Not only do you gain the insight on what it was like for those who were imprisoned but also what types of military campaigns were being waged at that time in the Pacific, after the bombing at Pearl Harbor.

As Japanese soldiers guarding th
David Duncan
Jun 04, 2015 David Duncan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everybody
Recommended to David by: Goodreads
Shelves: first-reads
Rescue At Los Banos by Bruce Henderson is my ninety-third book that I have received and read from Goodreads. What a wonderful book that is a true story that took place during World War II. This is a story about survival how over 2,000 men, women, and children, most of them are civilians that are held captive in a Japanese internment camp in the Philippines.
Bruce Henderson research in to one of the most daring rescue mission of civilians in military history. This story has you glued to your seat
Jan 23, 2016 Becky rated it it was amazing
RESCUE AT LOS BANOS by Bruce Henderson
All of us know about the Bataan Death March, but few know about the civilians who were interned for the duration of World War II at Los Banos Prisoner of War Camp in the Phillippines. Los Banos Camp, situated in a lush agricultural area of the Philippines, was home to thousands of civilians – men, women and children – from a number of countries, but mostly from the United States. When Sadaaki Konishi was made commandant in 1944, conditions in the camp became
Apr 29, 2015 Skeetor rated it really liked it
I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.
When the Japanese occupied the Philippine Islands they rounded up the foreign civilians (many women and children) and placed them into internment camps. This book relates the experiences of those civilians. Towards the end of the war, as the Japanese realized defeat was at hand in the Pacific, the situation inside the Los Baños camp became extremely dire. Sadistic cuts were made to the internees’ food rations even though there was plent
Donna Siebold
Sep 09, 2015 Donna Siebold rated it really liked it
A fascinating account of the rescue of over 2,000 imprisoned civilians. Los Banos POW camp was located in Luzon. After the fall of Manilla during WWII Japan interred several thousand civilians living in the Phillipines. Most of these prisoners were first held in an inner-city camp. When Los Banos was opened many prisoners were transferred there.

Life in Los Banos was supposed to be better than the original camp due in part to its location. The land surrounding Los Banos is among the most fertile
Bill Palmer
May 14, 2015 Bill Palmer rated it really liked it
I believe I had seen one of those dramatized documentaries about this on the History Channel years ago. The background stories of the prisoners, some of the Filipino people, and the military personnel involved in the rescue are well told and give vibrancy and weight to the narrative. It's another of those books with a narrow focus within a very broad historical topic, which I like because they both educate specifically about the segmented topic and give new perspective on the big picture. The ...more
Annika Branson
Apr 22, 2015 Annika Branson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wwii
In the so-called style of narrative history, this book follows a few key characters – both internees of Los Baños and soldiers of the 11th Airborne Division – to piece together the hauntingly true tale of the Japanese Prisoner of War (POW) Camp in Los Baños and the rescue raid by American soldiers and Filipino guerrillas that saved over 2,000 lives. A tough subject, this book brought me to tears many times – sad tears in reading about the harsh conditions and treatment of the internees, but also ...more
Jocelyn Bennion
Sep 23, 2016 Jocelyn Bennion rated it really liked it
As the rescue only takes a chapter the rest is a good review on the war in the Philippines. 3.5 stars
Oct 17, 2015 Ben rated it it was amazing
An exciting and well-told story of the rescue of 2000 people being held captive by the Japanese in the Philippine prison camp called Los Banos.
These people, all civilians , men women and children had been reduced to near death by deliberate starvation by camp authorities. They feared not only slow death by staving, but a mass slaughter by their vindictive captors as American forces neared. The rescue by components of the 11th. Airborne division was just in the nick of time.
The author tells his s
Apr 01, 2016 Jim rated it really liked it
Exciting story of the rescue of the prisoners in the Japanese camp at Los Banos in the Philippines during World War II. The camp was holding American and other Allied civilian prisoners and, as the war continued, they were being starved, beaten, and killed. General Douglas MacArthur gave the assignment to the US 11th Airborne to free the prisoners and bring them back safely to Allied lines. This was during the U.S. campaign in the Philippines, and the operation was aided greatly by the Filipino ...more
Jul 16, 2015 Lisa rated it really liked it
This was a very good nonfiction book which read like a novel. Easy to read with a very interesting topic, one of which I did not now about. The true story is about civilians (men, women, and children) who were taken prisoner by the Japanese in the Philippines - over 2100 of them. Held in a POW camp in Los Banos (just south of Manila) for many years, these people were treated as all Japanese POWs were - starvation, beatings, shootings, etc. Using interviews of survivors, diaries, letters, memoirs ...more
Apr 21, 2015 Wayne rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, history
A good history book. The author takes a very no-nonsense approach to telling the story of this massive rescue of over 2,000 people from miles behind enemy lines. He introduces "characters" and elements one at a time as he builds the story. While not one of the best narrative histories that I've read, the matter of fact style does leave out a lot of fluff and just presents the facts, which don't really need elaboration.
It's a good, quick, no-nonsense history of an exciting moment in history that
Shelley Fearn
May 21, 2015 Shelley Fearn rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
The story of the 11th Airborne's rescue of the civilian internees of a Japanese prison camp at Los Baños in the Philippines in 1945 is exciting enough to satisfy any reader of adventure fiction or military history. It's hard to imagine a war in which so many civilians were held as prisoners of war and subject to such brutal treatment. It is a history worth knowing and well told by Henderson.
For the story of civilians who chose to hide rather than be interned, read The Edge of Terror: the Heroic
Aug 31, 2015 Dolores rated it really liked it
This is the exciting story of the 11th Airborne Division's amazing rescue of two thousand prisoners held in the Philippines by the Japanese during World War II. The raid was called "a textbook operation for all ages and all armies" by General Colin Powell. It was remarkable that the three-pronged attack was so successful, but I was most interested in reading about the ordinary people and their terrible suffering in the interment camp.

A supplemental chapter at the end of the book, "Dramatis Perso
Read Ng
Jun 21, 2015 Read Ng rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, biography
If you liked Unbroken, you will also enjoy The Rescue at Los Banos.

Well researched and exciting. Tense for the prisoners to not understand how the Japanese soldier would treat a civilian group. Hard to believe anyone would treat a fellow human in such a manner. The Japanese military effort was just so different no one else could understand. Is this much different than some of modern days' ISIS or other groups? Is there any answer for dealing with these types of attitudes?

I found this to be a G
Kathleen Ruttum
Jun 17, 2015 Kathleen Ruttum rated it really liked it
This book was awesome! Using the personal narratives it brings the reader inside the camp. I read this on my kindle fire and used the interactive button often to view maps and become familiar with the Phillipines. Kinda makes me want to go there. As another review stated, it is wonderful to also see recognition paid to those local civilian Filipinos who risked their lives just to pass food to the prisoners.
Jo Fetsco
Apr 20, 2016 Jo Fetsco rated it really liked it
This is the story of the “most daring prison camp raid” of WWII, the prison camp being Los Baños, near Manila, Philippines. The camp “housed” over 2000 civilians and servicemen/women who were captured by the Japanese. The rescue is planned and carried out when it is realized that the Japanese are torturing, killing, and starving the internees. It is an interesting story with a lot of personal stories from many of those involved.
Sharon Aldridge
Aug 17, 2015 Sharon Aldridge rated it it was amazing
I won this book in a give away. I was so very excited because I read "And the Sea Will Tell" by this author, and knew it would be was. If you are in to the strategy of war, its here but if your not, don't let it detour you from this book. So much humanistic value to this book also. You will be right there with them in the jungle and the camp. It also gives an update as of 2012. I found that so gratifying.
Long Henson
Jun 15, 2015 Long Henson rated it really liked it
Books like these helps brings to light (even in a small way) the poorly documented heroism of Filipinos/Fil-Ams who participated during the war. Although the main plot was not for that intent, any information would help in putting together pieces of the puzzle. The only heroes most Filipinos knew are the mainstream characters of the Philippine-Spanish War, then a few in the Philippine-American War (Insurgency to the US) and still fewer in the Japanese War despite being the most recent one.
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Bruce Henderson is the author or coauthor of more than twenty nonfiction books, including the #1 New York Times bestseller And the Sea Will Tell. His latest book, Rescue at Los Baños: The Most Daring Prison Camp Raid of World War II, will be published by William Morrow (a HarperCollins imprint) in April 2015. An award-winning journalist and author, he has published in Esquire, Playboy, ...more
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