From the Jungles of WW II Bataan, A Story of a Soldier, a Flag, and a Promise Kept

Additional Formats
  • Hardcover
  • ISBN 9780425257739
  • 336  Pages
  • Berkley
  • Adult


On April 9, 1942, thousands of U.S. soldiers surrendered as the Philippines’ island of Luzon fell to the Japanese. A few hundred Americans placed their faith in their own hands and headed for the jungles.

One of them was Clay Conner Jr.—a twenty-three-year-old Army Air Force communications officer who had never even camped before…

The obstacles to Conner’s survival were as steep as the Zimbales Mountains that Conner had to traverse daily: among them, malaria, heat, jungle rot, snakes, and mosquitoes. Beyond that, the threat of enemy soldiers who would ultimately put a price on Conner’s head, and local natives and villagers who claimed to be his friends only to later betray him. And, finally, he had to overcome his own self doubts, struggle with the despair of having to bury dead comrades, deal with friction among his fellow American soldiers, and survive years passing with little hope of rescue.

But if conflict reveals character, Conner showed himself to be a man of iron will, unbridled boldness, and endless perseverance. Inspired by an unlikely alliance with a tribe of arrow-shooting pygmy Negritos, by the words in a dog-eared New Testament, and by a tattered American flag that he vowed to someday triumphantly fly at battalion headquarters, Conner would survive and fight for almost three years.

Resolve is the story of an unlikely hero who never surrendered to the enemy—and of a soldier who never gave up hope.


“A poignant true story of a young man’s coming of age at the beginning of WWII . . . I found Resolve to be authentic and consistent with the hardships that were endured during this timeframe and locale.”—Val Conley, President, National Assn. of State Women Veterans Coordinators

“I am a complete sucker for inspirational stories, and Resolve is one of the best…If anyone was an emblem of American ingenuity, it was Clay Conner Jr.”—Ellen Heltzel, book critic
“A spellbinding drama…Powerfully told with marvelous attention to historical detail, Welch locks you in suspense with his depiction of the true life story of a few Americans during the horrendous guerrilla ‘war in the shadows.’”—Forrest Bryant Johnson, author of Phantom Warrior and The Last Camel Charge

“Utterly fantastic. The story of Clay Conner Jr. provides important insight into one of the least-recounted parts of WWII in this brave, daring, and controversial book. Bob Welch is as fine a nonfiction writer as America has ever produced, and this book shows how at the top of his game he truly is.”—Marcus Brotherton, author of Shifty’s War