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Hero Found: The Greatest POW Escape of the Vietnam War | [Bruce Henderson]

Hero Found: The Greatest POW Escape of the Vietnam War

In February 1966, U.S. Navy pilot Dieter Dengler was shot down over "neutral Laos". He crashed deep in territory controlled by North Vietnamese army regulars and the communist Pathet Lao, who would eventually capture him and hold him prisoner in a fortified jungle prisoner-of-war camp.
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Publisher's Summary

In February 1966, U.S. Navy pilot Dieter Dengler was shot down over "neutral Laos". He crashed deep in territory controlled by North Vietnamese army regulars and the communist Pathet Lao, who would eventually capture him and hold him prisoner in a fortified jungle prisoner-of-war camp.

But German-born Dengler was no ordinary prisoner. Already a legend in the Navy for his escape and evasion skills - amply demonstrated during training in the California desert - he would initiate, plan, and lead an organized escape from the POW camp, becoming the longest-held American to escape captivity during the Vietnam War.

Caught in a most desperate situation, imprisoned not only by the enemy but by the jungle itself, Dengler's heroic impulse was to not only get himself out but to free all the other POWs - Americans, Thai, and Chinese - some of whom had been held for years. In a surreal scene of brotherhood and celebration, Dengler returned to his aircraft carrier, the USS Ranger, six months after being shot down - emaciated and ravaged with strange tropical illnesses, but very much alive and joyous to be so - only two weeks before the ship was due to leave the Gulf of Tonkin and return home.

Bruce Henderson served with Dengler aboard Ranger off the coast of Vietnam and here tells Dengler's complete story for the first time, drawing on extensive interviews with the intrepid pilot, his squadron mates, friends, and family, as well as declassified military archival materials, some now available for the first time, and personal letters and journals.

Henderson's riveting account amply demonstrates why Dengler's story of unending optimism, innate courage, loyalty, and survival against overwhelming odds remains for his fellow flyers and shipmates the best and brightest memory of their generation's war.

©2010 Bruce Henderson (P)2010 Tantor

What Members Say

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  •  
    Stevon Tempe, AZ, United States 04-05-11
    Stevon Tempe, AZ, United States 04-05-11 Member Since 2015

    I love books!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "the will to live"

    If you like stories about American servicemen being captured, tortured, surviving aginst all odds, and the strength of the human spirit, then you'll like this story. Much like "Unbroker" that's popular now, this is about VietNam. It was a good story.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew Ottawa, ON, Canada 08-28-10
    Matthew Ottawa, ON, Canada 08-28-10

    Avid audiobook addict!

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    "Extremely interesting and well-written!"

    The author's a good writer, and the hero is a fascinating guy. Draws you right into what it must have felt like to be escaping through the jungle in Vietnam.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jean catawba, nc, United States 02-07-11
    jean catawba, nc, United States 02-07-11
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    "Hero Found"

    A great story, Deter has a zest for life and no one is stopping that. Narrator does a great job.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Trevor Vant 05-13-15
    Trevor Vant 05-13-15 Member Since 2014
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    "highly recommended"

    this was a great story. a lot of build in the first several chapters and a long cool down but such a great story. I thoroughly enjoyed it. highly recommended to anyone who enjoys a good war story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fred 03-22-15
    Fred 03-22-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Very interesting read"

    It's always interesting to hear stories about war heroes. I am a soldier and currently stationed in Germany and the story was that much more relevant to me. I particularly enjoyed reading the parts where was escaping in SEAR school. This was a good book and I recommend it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Mersereau STAMFORD, CT USA 05-09-15
    S. Mersereau STAMFORD, CT USA 05-09-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Extraordinary story and man"

    I served at Udorn RTAFB and spent time in Laos during the "Secret War". Glad to see the long-classified stories of our service men finally told - for they are remarkable.

    The only acknowledged battlefield was Vietnam, so if it didn't happen in Vietnam (or the story changed to support that fiction, as the Navy did in the story here), then it just didn't happen. Consequently, very few medals were awarded for action in the Secret War.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sharleen bailey 04-29-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Super"

    I really enjoyed this book - reader was easy to listen to and I liked the story line - a great book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Craig Bakersfield, Ca 10-01-14
    Chris Craig Bakersfield, Ca 10-01-14 Member Since 2015

    I'm in a love-hate relationship with Amazon Prime.

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    "Captivating story."
    Where does Hero Found rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This was among the top of my list of captivating books that I have listened too. I found myself sitting in my car longer than necessary just to find out what happened next.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Dieter Dengle, whom the book is about was my favorite. He was the kind of guy that people wish they were.


    What does Todd McLaren bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Todd was an excellent narrator that was able to have distinctive accents for the various characters and pronounce the Laotian and Vietnamese cities correctly.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It did make me a little misty eyed at the end.


    Any additional comments?

    This was a well written and well narrated book. It described Dieter Dengle's history very well and told about what happened to the other people involved at the end. This book left me wanting to read about other POWs during the Vietnam war.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    diane Newhall, CA, United States 08-29-13
    diane Newhall, CA, United States 08-29-13
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    "An amazing read"
    What made the experience of listening to Hero Found the most enjoyable?

    A detailed account of a young man of his youth to his struggle to live and escape his captors while in, what was neutral Laos, that the American's at home never new about. Very interesting and never dull.


    What did you like best about this story?

    While the entire story was extremely interesting I found Dieter's escape to be quite riveting keeping me on the edge of my seat.


    Have you listened to any of Todd McLaren’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The entire book was so amazing to me and it is the best book I have ever read. I know now who died in the plane that crashed east of Fresno when I was a child. I lived in the town where it crashed.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret T Hawthorne Washington, DC United States 07-25-12
    Margaret T Hawthorne Washington, DC United States 07-25-12 Member Since 2006
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    "An amazing story of the human spirit!"
    Any additional comments?

    Very well written and read. An incredible story. I enjoyed this book very much and recommend it highly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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