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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

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (122 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Matthew Ottawa, ON, Canada 08-28-10
    Matthew Ottawa, ON, Canada 08-28-10 Member Since 2008

    Avid audiobook addict!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    256
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    156
    117
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    8
    3
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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.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stevon Tempe, AZ, United States 04-05-11
    Stevon Tempe, AZ, United States 04-05-11 Member Since 2005

    I love books!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    489
    ratings
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    413
    276
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    FOLLOWING
    87
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    Overall
    "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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jean catawba, nc, United States 02-07-11
    jean catawba, nc, United States 02-07-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    5
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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
  •  
    Tim United States 05-18-11
    Tim United States 05-18-11 Member Since 2010

    My reviews are honest. No sugar coating here.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Typical War Survival"

    After reading one of the greatest war survival books of all time, Unbroken, it is very hard to not to compare both books and try not to be bias because they were two different wars, different era in our history and two way different endings. Hero Found is well written, but not superb. It is not a must read like Unbroken, but it is also not a waste of time or credit. The book has a high points and its lows, but overall, it is well put together. If you are reading this book and haven't read Unbroken yet, you must read Unbroken. If you already read Unbroken and thinking about reading Hero Found, this is not a must read nor a bad listen. I am being bias because I'm comparing the two books. Hero Found is a good story, but I wished he had more of his boyhood. Hero Found is like Band of Brothers with many central characters and tend to loose focus of its center.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Craig Bakersfield, Ca 10-01-14
    Chris Craig Bakersfield, Ca 10-01-14 Member Since 2013

    I have a two hour round trip drive to work and just recently discovered audio books. What a lifesaver!

    ratings
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    3
    3
    Overall
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    Story
    "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 Member Since 2011
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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 2004
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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
  •  
    Jonathan Marker Alexandria, VA, United States 05-01-12
    Jonathan Marker Alexandria, VA, United States 05-01-12 Member Since 2012

    Author of Spyder Sylk

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    "Boring Story, Boring Narrator"
    Any additional comments?

    The story was difficult to focus on, considering the spotty narration performed by Todd McLaren. I hated the affected accent he took hold of when quoting characters and so, after 20 minutes of gritting my teeth out of sheer boredom, I stopped the file from playing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bryan K. Hunter Collegeville, PA, USA 08-15-11
    Bryan K. Hunter Collegeville, PA, USA 08-15-11 Member Since 2010
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    6
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    "Incredible determination and will to survive"

    Fascinating account of US Navy aviator Dieter Dengler and his experiences as a POW and how is was able to escape, several times, from his captors.
    The book lays the ground work for Dieter's amazing ability to survive and endure by relaying his childhood in WWII Germany and how he was able to immigrate to the US and eventually join the US Navy and learn to fly.
    The, sometimes graphic, account of his escape through Laos and Vietnam is gruesome to imagine, making his feat all the more impressive

    My only knock would be the lengthy back-story from his childhood in Germany, though important to set the stage I think it could have been shortened a bit without taking away from the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Sand SC 01-08-11
    S. Sand SC 01-08-11 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "pales"

    I thank Bruce Henderson and Dieter Dengler for their service to our country. I admire Dieter's heroism. But I really didn't enjoy this book, sorry to say. A listener with a military background may enjoy it more than I did, since it is THICK with military detail. I found my attention wandering when listening to the book. The last couple of hours were pretty engaging - but it took a lot of listening to get to that point.
    Possibly, I was a little more critical because I had just finished Unbroken by Lauren Hillenbrand - which was the perfect combination of story, hero, writer, narrator.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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