When the American Army in the Philippines surrendered on April 9, 1942, the Japanese 14th Army was stretched paper-thin, and couldn't go on to invade Australia and New Zealand. On Panay Island (south of Luzon), 80% of the American garrison went into the hills north of Ilo Ilo City, the provincial capital, under the leadership of Colonel Macario Peralta, and the others were imprisoned at an airfield on the edge of town.
The colonel sent to command the Japanese garrison hates the Army, and wants to spend his time playing chess and writing poetry. He's a graduate of West Point, Class of 1915, and doesn't want to do anything that will lower the good opinion that his friends Dwight Eisenhower and Omar Bradley have of him, and he makes life as easy and comfortable for the prisoners as he can, assisted by his chess adversary, Chaplain Rabbi "Joisey Boy" Lou Plaut.
How they combine to outsmart the top brass in Manila, and turn the prison camp into a resort hotel for the American prisoners makes for a different read on the War in the Philippines. If this were a TV comedy series, only Phil Silvers as Sergeant Bilko and Paul Ford as the long-suffering Colonel, could do the story justice.
The author and artists have waived compensation for the American Legion Auxiliary (Ilo Ilo Annex of Angeles City Unit 123) edition. 100% of the $5.00 price for the electronic version goes to the Annex for charitable programs.