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Arts & Culture

Escape In The Pacific: 1943

U.S. Air Force photo of Major William Edwin Dyess, taken after his return to the United States, 1943.
Public Domain
U.S. Air Force photo of Major William Edwin Dyess, taken after his return to the United States, 1943.

Airs Sunday, May 25, 2014 at 1 p.m. on KPBS TV

"Escape In The Pacific: 1943" delivers a dramatic, gripping account of one of the most remarkable incidents of World War II — the only successful group escape from a Japanese POW camp. On April 4, 1943, 10 American prisoners of war — survivors of the infamous Bataan Death March and the Fall of Corregidor — and two Filipino convicts carried out a daring escape from one of Japan's most notorious (and reputedly escape-proof) prison camps, the Davao Penal Colony located on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao.

"Escape In The Pacific" also chronicles the events leading up to the fall of the Philippines and the Japanese occupation, and later concludes on the home front, as some members of the "Davao Dozen" seek to rally the country to the plight of their comrades still in captivity. The documentary, based on John Lukacs's book, unfolds through the story of USAF Lt. Col. William Edwin Dyess, along with wartime correspondence, archival documents and contemporary footage.

Note: the on-screen title is "4-4-43: Lt. Col. William Edwin Dyess and the Greatest Story of the War in the Pacific."

Escape In The Pacific: 1943 Trailer