Through The Night

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Proof Through The Night
A B-29 Pilot Captive in Japan
Burke, K.P., (As told by Ernest Pickett), Opal Creek Press, Salem OR, 2004; ISBN: 1-931105-04-9; 215 pages; Hardcover - $23.95

Pickett's story would be simply another wartime memoir except the author has fully captured the savagery of Japanese - hatred spawned by the reaction to the Doolittle raid in April 1942. The Japanese were led to believe that not only they were the most superior race in the world but that their "Sun God" Emperor would present any attack on the sacred homeland.

Pickett, shot down and wounded on the very first B-29 raid upon Japan, was subjected to vicious and needless brutality for no other reason than he was an American airman.

Proof Through Night Cover

In a small way, he was lucky since many airmens hot down in future raids were tortured, beheaded or used for medical experiments and vivisection. Under the control of the Kempei Tai, the Japanese Secret Police, he was considered a Prisoner of War and avoided being sent to the nearest POW camp. In Ofuna and the Omori Camp in Tokyo, Pickett's treatment never improved but his courage and stamina were severely tested.

This is a beguiling story that rapidly engages the reader. By the end, you will sigh in disbelief at the courage and compassion of this magnificent aviator. How are we are so blessed to have such men defending America? Read Pickett's story and you will understand.

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