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From Mary Previte, née Taylor,

Click on the pictures (below)...

Mary left us this November 2019 ...

In 1997, when I was running for political office, a New Jersey State Senator—my running mate—asked me to substitute for him at a Saturday night banquet reunion of World War II veterans ...

... printer friendly version,

James Taylor III:
February 14, 2009,

... the armband the Japs made us wear,

September 6, 1945

... a letter from the whole "DUCK-TEAM" to all the Weihsien internees,

September 10, 1945 ...

Girls from LSD,
in 1945

GIRLS FROM CHEFOO'S LOWER SCHOOL DORMITORY (LSD) are photographed in Tsingtao, 1945, shortly after their release from the Weihsien Civilian Assembly ...



"It's never too late to say thank you," Previte said in an interview last week. "It's been like goosebumps up and down my spine to be able to say thank you to these men after 52 years I told them I have so much to be thankful for."
The men, now all in their 70s, some ...
April 28, 2017

... " Previte said getting the parachute back prompted her decision to return the silk to the Orlich family. It also took her on a nostalgic trip, looking at old photographs and reading stacks of old letters from her rescuers and their relatives.
The parachute is in her living room. Previte said she wants to preserve ...

September 1983, ...

... " Then suddenly the Japanese swept into China. Mortars screamed overhead. Bombs plunged to the earth, maiming and killing people. Entrapping and scattering people. We were cut off! It was impossible to get back to Chefoo. ...


In 1985, Previte obtained a copy of a declassified military mission report from a fellow camp survivor. In it were the names of her rescuers. She tucked it away; it would be impossible to find them, she thought.
On a whim, at the meeting of the veterans group in Mount Laurel, she read the names. "Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever be able to find ...

This month, she met the widow of one of her rescuers, an Edwardsville native. Raymond Hanchulak, who died in 1996, had been a medic on the mission. His wife, Helen, lives in Bear Creek Village. "Raymond would have cried," she said. "Then he'd say OK, let's have a drinkie- the ceremony is over." Previte was just 12 years old ...

Web Site,
The Houston Chronicle
by Bob TUTT

... " She sprang from the top of a steamer trunk serving as her bed, and through a barrack window she glimpsed a low-flying four-engine aircraft.
Appropriately enough, it was an American B-24 Liberator bomber, and she shortly spotted six parachutists dropping from the aircraft's bomb bay.
"Believe me, that was ...

The Dallas Morning News,
Sunday, November 30, 1997

Associated Press photo (B&W Xerox copy)
Assemblywoman Mary Previte kisses Stanley Staiger during a December reunion in Reno, Nev. Staiger was the commander of a seven-man team that rescued Previte and 1,400 others from a Japanese concentration camp In China In 1945.

Assemblywoman Mary Previte embraces her rescuer, James Moore of Dallas, during a reunion in the Assembly Chamber. Moore was one of seven parachutists who freed American prisoners from a Japanese concentration camp at the end of World War II.

Web Site, CBI 2002
The Tad Nagaki Story,
by Mary Previte (click on picture)

... " I cupped the long distance phone to my ear and listened to his voice. Wave after wave of memories blurred my eyes. I was a wide-eyed 12-year-old again listening to the drone of the airplane far above the concentration camp. Racing to the window, I watched it sweep lower, slowly lower. It was a giant plane, emblazoned with an American star. Weihsien went mad. I raced for the entry gates and ...

--- Weihsien’s 60 years later anniversary reunion was a time for tears and a time for joy ...

The front page of the Weifang Ribao, August 18, 2005, shows crowds swarming the monument to American liberators in ...

Former Prisoner of Japanese Spellbinds National Reunion
Mary Previte's electrifying story put us wide-eyed ...

Good Housekeeping
May 2001

... " As she got older, she thought more and more about the courage of the men who'd rescued her from Weihsien. "A kid has no clue," says Previte, now 68. "We told each other that ...

Sunday World-Herald
January 11, 1998

TAD NAGAKI: The Alliance farmer was recently contacted by a woman he helped free from a concentration camp in China in 1945.

Chefoo School logo:

On Liberation Day, Chefoo School students who were interned in Weihsien were greeted with this card that included the school logo and the words of a chorus that anchored them throughout the war: God is still on the throne. The card was sent from Isabel Bazire, wife of internee Peter Bazire.

Eric Henry Liddell
(16/1/1902 - 21/2/1945)

Eric Liddell was a missionary of the London Missionary Society and hero of the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris. Liddell taught science in the camp, organised sports for the young, chess games and many other activities which helped the youth of Weihsien to receive some guidance and motivation. Liddell died of a brain tumour on 21 February, 1945, some six months before liberation from camp.

Red Cross messages ...

... all about "Gao-Liang"

I remember marching with young girls from the Chefoo Lower School Dormitory into Kitchen Number One carrying my spoon and my white, chipped enamel bowl. I was one of the lucky ones. Lots of folks ate out of empty tin cans with the lid fashioned into a handle. I had a bowl. ...

Inside their 200-by-150-yard prison compound framed with 10-foot-high cement walls, an electric fence and armed guard towers at each corner, they would subsist mostly on insufficient food and water and second helpings of faith.

“I really haven't spoken much about this through all these years,” Rogers said. “What I think all of this taught me was that you can survive in any situation when your parents protect you. I learned that it's not how much you have, but it's who you're with.”

February 20, 2014

... " The Japanese army was losing ground in most of China in 1945 and victory was almost assured, but the news was blocked. It wasn't until the US arranged rescue planes to liberate the camp on Aug 17, 1945, that people knew their days in hell were over," said Cheng.

[click here]

Liberation came as a surprise to Previte. "It was a hot and windy day. I was sick with ...

Fenghsiang, Shgensi, September 1945.

Rescue from the Sky
by Mary Taylor-Previte

Navy Ensign Jim Moore tensed with the rush of adrenalin as the B-24 flew above the Chinese fields ...

May 11, 2000

W.W. II Heros

Only Available in Archive Formats.
May 11, 200012:00 AM ET
Heard on Morning Edition

Host Bob Edwards talks to Mary Previte and three Office of strategic Services (O.S.S.) Paratroopers who liberated the Wieshin POW camp in China during the W.W. II. Previte, a former internee at the Japanese concentration camp has been tracking down surviving members of the OSS team that freed her in 1945.

The Chinese interpreter of the DUCK-team:
Eddie WANG in 2015

© by courtesy of:
The National WWII Museum, New Orleans

Thursday 07.08,2008

"We children became his priority. When we had a hockey stick that needed mending, it was Uncle Eric who would truss it up with strips made from his bed sheets and with stinking glue melted down from horses' hooves. It was him who made sure that we did not give up hope. ...

Sound Recordings

... " I didn’t like gao-liang. But I liked hunger less. So while our Chefoo teachers were watching someone else at those wooden tables, I’d let a classmate spoon her gao-liang into my white enamel bowl. And I’d eat it -- just as I ate the green lu dou bean gruel -- which I hated even more. ...

Wonderful! The Last Hero!

By Changmin Liu & Vicky Long
Guizhou City Newspaper, CHINA
(Translated by Daniel Wang)
Secret unveiled from an overseas call: ...

© by courtesy
Patty Everett
Editorial/Production Coordinator Leatherneck Magazine
Lt. Col Tom McKenney , USMC,(retired) and former Cpl. John B. Tonkin

© by courtesy:
Shelly Castorino and The Retrospect (of Collingswood, N.J., USA).

... " Finding Eddie Wang in a country with over a billion people is next to impossible," said Mary. "Until one day in 2015, almost 70 years after being liberated from Weihsien, I received an email from a man ...

© by courtesy of Melanie Burney reporter at the Philadephia Inquirer

Woman reunited with Chinese rescuer 71 years on (
Updated: 2016-07-27 21:12:36

Growing up in a Japanese WW2 internment camp in China
By Michael Bristow BBC News ©
17 August 2015

© Melanie Burney Inquirer Staff WriterPosted:
Sunday, May 31, 2015, 1:09 AM
 GALLERY: Haddonfield woman finds the last of her seven daring heroes
Nearly 70 years ago, Mary Previte was liberated from a Japanese prison camp in China during World War II by a daring group of seven rescuers she called her heroes. Over the years, she managed to find ...

© by courtesy:
Michael J. Yaguchi
Executive Director
Japanese American Veterans Association

Reminiscing about the rescue:
Seven heroes dropping out of the clouds and into the internment camp
"Oh my goodness! That is my hero!" At 3:30 p.m. on July 27, Mary, ...

Veteran's Day
Mary Taylor Previte and John Farrell, Vietnam veteran and teacher at Haddonfield Middle School in New Jersey., November 10, 2015. Mr. Farrell co-ordinated the Veterans Day program. Mary was keynote speaker, telling her story of Weihsien liberators.

A kiss 71 years in the making! American prisoner of war meets and thanks the Chinese man who rescued her and 1500 others from a Japanese Second World War camp after searching for him for 18 years
Mary Previte, 83, of New Jersey ...

Eric Liddell’s former roommate in China internment camp celebrates his centenary and the time of his life
Olympic runner immortalised in Chariots of Fire would have been best man at my wedding if he’d lived, says Joe Cotterill, who met the two loves of his life in the Japanese wartime Weihsien internment camp in Shandong province
27 APR 2017

Parachute that helped save 1,500 from WWII camp will return to rescuer's family

Updated: APRIL 26, 2017 — 11:51 AM EDT
by Melanie Burney, Staff Writer |

16:21, July 28, 2016
Mary Previte, 84, has taken long trip across the world, from New Jersey to Guiyang, to thank ...

July 30,2016

A kiss 71 years in the making! American prisoner of war meets and thanks the Chinese man who rescued her and 1500 others from a Japanese Second World War camp after searching for him for 18 years

Mary Previte, 83, of New Jersey, met Wang Chenghan, in Guiyang, China

The pair last met in August 1945 when he rescued the 12-year-old in Japan She was held in a school-turned-prison also home to rats for three years Wang, now 91, rescued 1500 people from 30 nations from the prison camp Ms Previte brought with her 18 'thank you' letters from other survivors

... by courtesy Sruthi Pinnamaneni Sr Reporter, Reply All Gimlet Media

CLICK below for the WEIHSIEN part of the story ... a little less than 20 minutes ...

Spring 2018
KLIPSUN magazine
by Laura-Ann Poehner.

Life Under The Guard Towers
In March 1943, Weihsien (pronounced WAY-SHEN) was a sleepy little town in northern China, on the eastern coast, north of Shanghai and directly across the Yellow Sea from Seoul, Korea. The outside world ...

First letter home, written by Miss Edith Livesey, a teacher in the Chefoo School.
She as interned in Weihsien ...

Various texts from:
Mary Previte ...