Segment 9


When Alex Vraciu bailed out over the Philippines he was at about 300 or 400 feet when hit parachute opened up. He hit the ground and when he stood up he saw a group of young men running toward him. Vraciu had heard stories of what the Japanese had done to American servicemen on Saipan so he had switched from the standard issue .38 caliber pistol to a .45 caliber pistol. He was determined to take as many of them as possible. When they got close to him they started yelling Filipino Filipino. They quickly got Vraciu's flight suit and gear off of him and dressed him like a Filipino. Vraciu was taken up into the hills. He spent the first night on a sack of wheat. In the camp he was in was an American who had survived the Bataan Death March. There was also another pilot present who had been shot down a month before Vraciu. A number of funny events occurred while he was with this group. Even though he did not want to use up all of his ammunition Vraciu would take a shot at every Zero that flew over even though he knew he would not hit them. Vraciu was with the guerillas through Christmas and New Years. He was shot down on 14 December [Annotators Note: 14 December 1944] and did not get back to his squadron until the end of January.


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