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Albanian Escape: The True Story of U.S. Army Nurses Behind Enemy Lines [Paperback]

Agnes Jensen Mangerich
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 14 2006
On November 8, 1943, U.S. Army nurse Agnes Jensen stepped out of a cold rain in Catania, Sicily, into a C-53 transport plane. But she and twelve other nurses never arrived in Bari, Italy, where they were to transport wounded soldiers to hospitals farther from the front lines. A violent storm and pursuit by German Messerschmitts led to a crash landing in a remote part of Albania, leaving the nurses, their team of medics, and the flight crew stranded in Nazi-occupied territory. What followed was a dangerous nine-week game of hide-and-seek with the enemy, a situation President Roosevelt monitored daily. Albanian partisans aided the stranded Americans in the search for a British Intelligence Mission, and the group began a long and hazardous journey to the Adriatic coast. During the following weeks, they crossed Albania's second highest mountain in a blizzard, were strafed by German planes, managed to flee a town moments before it was bombed, and watched helplessly as an attempt to airlift them out was foiled by Nazi forces. Albanian Escape is the suspense-filled story of the only group of Army flight nurses to have spent any length of time in occupied territory during World War II. The nurses and flight crew endured frigid weather, survived on little food, and literally wore out their shoes trekking across the rugged countryside. Thrust into a perilous situation and determined to survive, these women found courage and strength in each other and in the kindness of Albanians and guerrillas who hid them from the Germans.

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"Albanian Escape is the saga of the most exhausting 800 miles and the longest nine weeks in the lives of thirteen American Army nurses." - Stars and Stripes"

From the Publisher

"Albanian Escape is the saga of the most exhausting 800 miles and the longest nine weeks in the lives of 13 American Army nurses, their team of medics and two lieutenants and two sergeants who made up their initial four-man flight crew."--Stars and Stripes

“A significant addition to nursing history literature, reminding us that though recognition of their heroism may be short-lived, nurses serving in the military play a vital role during war.”—American Journal of Nursing

“Chronicles on an almost daily basis the activities of the American nurses and medical sergeants as they evaded the Germans, trekked mountain paths, and endured hardships before being led to the Adriatic coast and rescued.”—Army History

“An exciting, suspenseful account. American women’s memoirs of their wartime service are rare and one that is about such a remarkable adventure is virtually unique.”—Edward Coffman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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First Sentence
A cold drizzle was falling when the jeeps carrying thirteen U.S. Army nurses and twelve medical technical sergeants of the 807th Medical Air Evacuation Squad (MAES), plus one young corporal with the 802d MAES who was catching a ride back to his assigned base, pulled onto the apron of a runway at Catania Main Airfield in Sicily. Read the first page
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, truly, amazing! June 4 2000
Mrs. Mangerich, I was moved, ok, maybe I'm a bit partial, but I loved it... Mrs. Mangerich, my grandfather gave me this book, you know your cousin, I thought agh, another war-story. But I got into, drove my friends nuts talking about it, i loved every aspect of the story. The drama, and the way the story was written was beautiful. I was impressed, truly, especially considering I'm only a teen and you managed to captivate my impaitent mind... 5 stars all around, I hope to see you @ the family reunion!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A story of Bravery and Survival good for all ages Nov. 30 1999
Albanian Escape was exciting, quick-paced, and inspiring. After crashing behind enemy lines, this narrative of a group of brave women, written from one surviovor's perspective, was everything an adventure story could be. An unexpected turn of events leads to a challenge, a journey behind enemy lines during World War II. Throughout, the physical strength, courage, disciple and patriotism of the servicewomen remain steady. I loved hearing about the descriptions of covert radio transmissions, the long walks in the dark and the unfamiliar food eaten gratefully by the characters. The story read like a story, yet one knew IT HAD REALLY HAPPENED, because of the threat of Hitler's armies and that there was much at stake if these people were captured. Another angle of the narrative which interested me was the fact that Albania, recently in the news because of the wars in the Balkans and Kosovo, was the poulation the nurses came in contact with. I learned a lot about the way political loyalties were very fragile and unreliable during a war. For example, In the book, there were three main groups of citizens in Albania: those loyal to the Germans, those who wanted political independence from the dictator of Albania at the time, and those who were loyal to the Allies. Therefore, the issue of who was friendly was a complicated one for the Americans. Reading about Ablania, I gained insight into current events in my own world. I recommend this book highly to readers of all ages, especially those who want to learn about what it was like during World War II.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Important piece of historical work. Oct. 27 1999
This was very important for me as my father, who is now deceased, was one of the medics on board the aircraft. Information on him that was unknown to me was brought to light in the book. It is well written and i am thankful that this piece of history that involved my father was recorded for the future.
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