The Secret Rescue: An Untold Story of American Nurses and Medics Behind Nazi Lines

Cate Lineberry. Little, Brown, $27 (288p) ISBN 978-0-316-22022-4
National Geographic staff writer Lineberry divulges a 70-year old WWII secret that ends happily. In November 1943 a US transport plane with 30 medics, plus 12 nurses from the 807th Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron, got lost en route to Bari from Sicily. Air-lifting was in its infancy with personnel traveling on transport planes that converted into ambulances on return flights. Due to inclement conditions, the plane crashed on the wrong side of the Adriatic Sea in German-occupied Al-bania. Rather than being rescuers, suddenly they were in need of rescue. For 60 days the group trekked through remote Balkan villages following local guides named Qani, Ismail, and Haki in search of Brit-ish comrades. Battling vermin, hunger, thirst, and Nazis as meticulously recounted by Lineberry, they trudged more than 650 miles and miraculously made it home. Yet these members of the 807th kept mum until 2011 when the author interviewed the only living survivor, 89-year old Harold Hayes, at a retirement home in Oregon. With a cast of characters that includes British star Anthony Quayle as an undercover agent, survivalists and history buffs will relish the daily escapades of this heroic American contingent. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/20/2013
Release date: 05/01/2013
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-316-22023-1
Open Ebook - 196 pages - 978-0-316-25614-8
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-316-22024-8
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