NJ man recounts family's WWII capture in book
A Pompton Plains man whose family was imprisoned at an internment camp during World War II is sharing their story with the world.
Don Smith recalls stories his father used to tell him about what it was like to be held captive by Japanese forces during the war. The Smiths had been working at a Presbyterian Mission in the Philippines since 1920. In 1942, when the Japanese were losing ground in the Philippines, Smith?s parents and younger brother were put into a camp with other Americans. Smith said he was at college in California at the time.
?There were rumors they were going to be executed in a massacre, guards had dug a trench,? Smith said. ?They assumed that might be the end.?
Smith said his family and thousands of others were rescued in a pre-dawn raid by the 11th Airborne Division on February 23, 1945.
Smith, now 84, said the story inspired him to write a book about his family?s experience. The book, called ?We Survived War?s Crucible,? will be released next month.