Surviving the Day: An American POW in Japan by Frank J. Grady
- Hardcover: 274 pages
- ISBN-10: 1557503400
- Language: English
- Publisher: Naval Institute Press; 1st edition (March 1997)
Frank Grady's remarkable account of his years as a prisoner-of-war - his capture, his interrogations, his labor, his survival strategies - offers a riveting portrayal of the heroic efforts required to outlast a hellish war. As head of the U.S. Army's cryptography department in the Philippines handling all incoming and outgoing messages for generals Douglas MacArthur and Jonathan Wainwright, Grady was of special interest to the Japanese when captured in the spring of 1942. His memoir describes his first months as a POW in the infamous Cabanatuan camp and his subsequent transfer to Japan, where he attempted to outwit his interrogators about American cryptographic techniques. This book is more than the story of one man's survival. It is a moving account of wartime conditions that brought out the best and the worst in the prisoners, guards, and Japanese civilians. Grady perceptively depicts the uglier dimensions of human nature - betrayal, cowardice, greed, and wanton viciousness - but also celebrates the tenacity, intelligence, compassion, and determined good spirits that kept him and hundreds of other American prisoners alive in spite of severe malnourishment. From a murderous camp commander who was tried and hanged after the war to a kind civilian woman, Grady came into direct contact with far more Japanese than did most POWs, and he relates these encounters in detail. One of few Americans who saw Tokyo after the firebombing of March 1945, he also offers a personal glimpse of the destruction of the city. An unusual climax to the memoir comes when his own camp, near the port town of Kamaishi, is unknowingly destroyed by the U.S. Navy.
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