KATJANG and I flew together for the first time in the Netherlands in the spring of 1955. He was my wingman in a flight of F-84 Thunderjets and all I could say about him was that he was a great natural pilot and definitely ‘gutsy.’ The last time we flew together was during the Blue Angels show in the fall of 2006 at the Pensacola Naval Air Station. He was a formation pilot with the Sky Typers and I rode in his backseat of an SNJ, filming the activities. Unfortunately, within the year, he crashed and was killed at Oceana NAS, Virginia, flying the same type of aircraft. It summarized the way he had lived; full speed and with gusto. His book, Suffering With A Smile, describes how he survived three-and-a-half years of Japanese ‘extermination through starvation’ in an Indonesian concentration camp during World War Two, full speed and with gusto.
This is an extraordinary novel, full of human and historical events and emotions.
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