Moore applied the “Page 99 Test” to his latest book, As Good As Dead: The Daring Escape of American POWs From a Japanese Death Camp,and reported the following:
As Good As Dead is the tale of eleven American POWs who escaped a Japanese camp in the Philippines after their captors elected to annihilate every last prisoner. The manner in which these men survived a brutal gauntlet and persevered through the subsequent manhunt of the Palawan Massacre is almost unbelievable. The fact that eleven survived to tell their stories led directly to assaults on other Japanese camps that freed more than 3,600 Allied POWs.Visit Stephen L. Moore's website.
By page 99 of the book, my readers have experienced a wide variety of horrible treatment administered to the American POWs. Despite the previous starvation, beatings, and cruel torture, page 99 hints that what the American POWs have endured in their first year and a half under the Imperial Japanese Army is about to take a turn for the worse. Palawan’s dreaded military police unit, the Kempei Tai, has just received a new senior officer, Master Sergeant Taichi Deguchi. His arrival foreshadows for the reader that the fate of our heroes will not be kind.
From page 99:Deguichi became second in command of the Palawan unit, but he was soon number one on the American prisoners’ most-hated list.Deguichi’s Kempei Tai recovers the two American escapees, proceeds to torture them for days before the entire camp, and then executes them. Other men had previously broken out of Palawan’s Camp 10-A, but the new policy of the Kempei Tai would put a damper on future efforts.
Powerfully built and possessing a chilling stare, Deguichi became feared for his irrational and unprovoked outburts, in which he beat prisoners simply for fun. Deguichi was serving as the acting commander of the Kempei Tai when two more Americans tried to escape from Palawan. His handling of the affair was the most horrific war crime that the POWs had yet experienced.
By December 14, 1944, only 150 American POWS remained on Palawan Island. On that date, their Japanese commanders opted to dispose of every living man, hoping to wipe their existence clean as Allied troops advance through the Philippines under General Douglas MacArthur. Eleven men who simply refuse to give in to their fate will survive an atrocity in what is one of the least known great escape stories of World War II.
The Page 99 Test: The Battle for Hell’s Island.
Writers Read: Stephen L. Moore.