Magazine article Sea Classics

FDR's Prisoner Spy: The POW Diary of Cdr. Thomas Hayes, USN

Magazine article Sea Classics

FDR's Prisoner Spy: The POW Diary of Cdr. Thomas Hayes, USN

Article excerpt

FDR'S PRISONER SPY: The POW Diary of Cdr. Thomas Hayes, USN, Edited by A.B. Feuer, 248 pages, Illustrated. Pacifica Press. $24.95

Now available in softcover for the first time, the secret wartime diaries of Cdr. Tom Hayes, USN, reads more like a fast paced novel than the gripping real life struggle of a naval doctor imprisoned in Manila by the Japanese.

Thanks to the astute editing of military historian A.B. Feuer, author of several non-fiction books and articles for Sea Classics and other national magazines, every page of FDRs Prisoner Spy makes for fascinating and illuminating reading. From the very first diary entry in July 1942 to the last tragic notes in January 1945, Feuer's sensitive handling of what is often a hard-biting, brutally revealing narration is most compelling, Convincing, too, is the irrefutable fact that there is absolutely no glory in being on the losing side in any war.

Raising this saga well above the usual level of wartime POW expose is the author himself, Cdr. Thomas Hayes, a medical doctor who by virtue of his special insights and rare linguistic abilities was also a naval intelligence officer and spy for none other than the President of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Though highly respected in the intelligence community, Tom Hayes considered himself a doctor first and foremost. It was in his capacity as head of surgery that Hayes was captured in the fall of the Philippines and assigned to the notorious Bilibid prison hospital. There, working under the very nose of the Japanese, Hayes established a spy network that grew so effective that it later helped to provide General MacArthur with valuable information on Japanese troop dispositions when he returned to liberate the Philippines. …

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