The first wave of Japanese bombers over Manila 17 years ago turned John Linehan from a civilian Navy employee into a fighter. Linehan rushed repairs on a destroyer, burrowed through bomb rubble for precious parts, on Christmas Day watched U.S. ships slip safely out to sea ahead of the invading Japanese. Then, with Manila in flames, Linehan himself slipped out of the doomed city and joined a guerrilla band.

In the steaming Philippine jungle, John Linehan spent three years dodging Japanese soldiers' bullets and harassing the enemy. The Japanese never hurt him, but the jungle did. Suffering beriberi, malaria and...

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