5 Brothers in Arms
|To purchase, send check, payable to Ray Heimbuch, (X No. books X $15.00, plus $2.00) to: Ray Heimbuch, 1314 Estates Drive, Fairfield, CA 94533.|
This book starts with our becoming POW's, with a brief flash back telling how we got there, then goes on to tell about my POW life, and as each of my brothers who is not already mentioned joins the service, he gets a separate chapter telling his war experience, and goes on to tell what happens to each of them up until the present time. Essentially it tells what we did during the war and then what we did up until the present time.
A chronicle of one family's service in WWII. Raymond Heimbuch's book is a powerful tribute to the service provided to this country by the five Heimbuch brothers. Each enlisted to help America defeat aggression in WWII, and each had stories to tell about that service. Ray and George were captured in the Philippines while serving in the Army Air Corps. They survived poor food, long marches, sadistic guards, and a ride on one of the infamous "Hell Ships," where they were crammed into the hold of a transport ship for three months en route to Japan. Scariest of all was their separation, not knowing how the other was holding up. Erv joined the Marines, and was one of only three men in his company (over 240 Marines) who survived unwounded through the invasion. Floyd and Mylo also served, and had stories of their own.
Heimbuch puts a very human face on war, bringing to light the little stories and anecdotes that develop the special brand of camaraderie that only veterans truly understand. His first hand account of being captured near the beginning of the war is also very educational, especially when he relates some of the humor and humanity of his Japanese captors. While some were indeed sadistic, some were simply soldiers doing their part for their country just like the author, and the Heimbuch does a fine job of describing both types.
Those who enjoy memoirs from combat soldiers in WWII may enjoy this book, and at less than 200 pages it is certainly a very readable work.
Reviewed by: Rob Ballister, MWSA Lead Reviewer (June 2009)
"This is a true story about our ordeal as POWs. Ray’s sharp memory tells the story of our starvation and suffering as Japanese POWs. Our friendship is one reason we did survive by helping each other, especially on the “Hell Ships” from Mindanao to Japan, a horrific journey of ninety-two days. Ours was not to reason why – ours was to do or die." - Bob Dowding, Japanese POW, Author: A few Survived.
"I’ve known Ray and George Heimbuch since 1941, while assigned to the 5th Air Base Group. This relationship has lasted to today. It was interrupted in May 1942 when the unit was surrendered to Japanese forces in the Philippines. We shared similar experiences in POW camps until our liberation in 1945. Afterward we stayed in the Air Force, got married, and raised families. At Survivor Reunions we share experiences, good and bad. Memories fade, but the tales get better. May our memories of the footlocker fifth remain with us forever." -- Walt Regehr, another survivor!