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Publisher: Lyons Press
Release Date: Sept. 2004
ISBN: 592285724
Format Reviewed: Hardcover
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Nonfiction / History / Military / Adventure
Reviewed: 2004
Reviewer: Barbara Buhrer
Reviewer Notes:  

Lost in Tibet  
The Untold Story of Five American Airmen, a Doomed Plane, and the Will to Survive 
By Richard Starks & Miriam Murcult

      This is the saga of the struggle for survival in an alien land by five American airmen during World War II.

      While flying their plane on the Hump, the route between China and India, their plane was blown hundreds of miles off course by a violent storm. When they ran out of fuel, they were forced to bail out of the plane into unknown territory. They discovered that they had landed in Tibet.

       The five Americans were confronted with a culture about which they knew nothing and were unwillingly drawn into Tibet's struggle to gain independence from China. Ultimately they undertook the journey to take them back to their base in India. The journey, taken in the middle of winter, took them across the barren plains of Tibet, into unchartered land filled with hazardous and treacherous terrain.

       This adventurous and courageous story is a tribute to the courage, stamina, and resourcefulness of the five Americans who were confronted with the almost impossible task of finding their way back to their base. The reader is given a picture of the society of Tibet in the 1940's and of its political dealings with the United States.

     The story is based on the interviews with the airmen, letters from them to their families, and research in the India Office of Records of the British Library and the US Air Force Historical Research Agency.

     The recreation of these airmen's experiences is well told, easy to read, and so realistically portrayed that the reader shares their experience.

      This is a welcome addition of a previously unknown experience of individuals to the history of the Second World War.