In his weakend state Sooch once got into a real scrap with a giant rat leaving his shoulder torn open. With no medical care available this Marine was once again in a fight for his life and once again his strong will to live prevailed. And that is how it went for three long years until that fateful day in January 1945 when Cabanatuan prison camp was the site of the liberation of the most prisoners by military action in U.S. history. Over 500 men were rescued. I saw an episode of Oliver North's "War Stories" on Fox News which mentioned Soochow and reported that he was rescued along with the men but that is not what happened. Fortunately he had been transfered back to Bilibid prison in November 1944. There is no telling what would have happened if Soochow had been caught in the confusion and violence of the liberation.. Once agarn the story of Soochow could have ended and what a tragedy it would have been for Sooch to have survived so much only to be lost on the eve of his ultimate freedom. If you look into those large coal black eyes of this little dog you can actually see the three years of hell he went through. Soochow had no way of knowing that his nightmare was almost over and that he would soon return to his well pampered life as a Marine mascot. After his rescue from Bilibid Soochow was taken aboard a Navel vessle with no problem for a short trip but when they boarded the ship for the final trip home a Navy Lieutenant refused to let Sooch aboard and when the men explained that the dog had been with them through the entire war this Lieutenant pleaded with the Captain but to no avail. Regulations are regulations he said. The men were told not to worry and arrangments were made to fly Soochow and Pappy Wells home in style.
NEXT Land of the Free.