Herman Perry

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Herman Perry (May 16, 1922 – March 15, 1945) was an African-American World War II soldier, convicted murderer, and fugitive from the army in India and Burma.

He was born near Monroe, North Carolina. As a soldier in the U.S. Army, 849th Engineer Battalion, he served in the China Burma India Theater of World War II constructing the Ledo Road.[1]

On March 3, 1944, Perry's CO Lieutenant Harold Cady attempted to apprehend the soldier for dereliction of duty and place him in the area's military prison. Perry had already served in this prison and was well aware of the abuses there. When Perry was found he was holding a rifle and repeatedly warned Cady not approach him and to "Get back."[2]

Cady continued his advance, and Perry shot and killed Cady. Perry fled into the wilderness and lived out a fugitive's life of jungle survival, discovering and adapting to the headhunting lifestyle of the Naga people of northeastern India and northern Burma. He was caught twice by the Army and escaped both times, receiving his death sentence by a military court on September 4, 1944, during his second capture.[3] A final capture on March 9, 1945 in Assam precipitated his execution by hanging on March 15.

His story was recounted in 2008 as Now the Hell Will Start: One Soldier's Flight From the Greatest Manhunt of World War II by Brendan I. Koerner; George Pelecanos called it[4] "A fascinating, untold story of the Second World War, an incendiary social document, and a thrilling, campfire tale adventure."

References[edit]

  1. ^ Koerner, Brendan I. 'Now the Hell Will Start: One Soldier's Flight from the Greatest Manhunt of World War II'. New York: Penguin Press, 2008: 142. ISBN 978-1-59420-173-8
  2. ^ Koerner, Brendan I. 'Now the Hell Will Start: One Soldier's Flight from the Greatest Manhunt of World War II'. New York: Penguin Press, 2008: 142. ISBN 978-1-59420-173-8
  3. ^ Koerner, Brendan I. The Greatest Manhunt of World War II. Slate Magazine, March 29, 2008.
  4. ^ PFD New York (Peters, Fraser and Dunlop), "London 2008" [list of represented books]

External links[edit]