An American pilot has worked for years to repay the friendship of the natives of New Britain who protected him from the Japanese when he was shot down over their island.
The Japanese fighter caught the American pilot from behind, riddling his plane with machine-gun rounds. The left engine burst into flames. It was time to bail out.
He yanked on the release lever but the cockpit canopy only half-opened. He unbuckled his seat belt, rose to shake the canopy loose and was instantly sucked out.
Swinging beneath his opened parachute, he plunged toward a Pacific island jungle of thick, towering eucalyptus trees, of crocodile rivers and headhunters, into enemy territory, and into an unimagined future as a hero, “Suara Auru,” Chief Warrior, to generations of islanders yet unborn.