On day one of WWII for the United States Harold Anthony Bergbower was injured when the Japanese bombed Clark Field in the Philippines. Mistaken for dead, he was delivered to the morgue and his family notified by telegram.
The young Air Corps mechanic awoke, took the tag off his toe, put on his boots and went back to his unit. In May 1942, he was captured by the Japanese and held prisoner until the end of the war. In captivity he suffered beatings and starvation in four POW camps in the Philippines and a hell ship voyage to Japan where he worked in a slave labor camp. Not until September 1945 did his family discover Harold had been alive the whole time.
Writing and researching PURE GRIT: HOW AMERICAN WORLD WAR II NURSES SURVIVED BATTLE AND PRISON CAMP IN THE PACIFIC, I reflected many times on the resilience of the human spirit. Seeing how others undergo great suffering and keep a sense of humor and compassion has been a great inspiration to me.
Has some part of history inspired you? What historical person do you admire? And why?
I'm fascinated to discover little-known history, stories of people and events that provide a new perspective on why and how things happened, new voices that haven't been heard, insight into how the past brought us here today, and how it might guide us to a better future.
I also post here about my books and feature other authors and their books on compelling and important historical topics.
Occasionally, I share what makes me happy, pictures of my garden, recipes I've made, events I've attended, people I've met. I'm always happy to hear from readers in the blog comments, by email or social media.