|The following are but a few of the scholars and eye-witnesses
with whom the authors of The Flight of the Hog Wild have discussed
the Hog Wild, northern Korea, and Japan's atomic bomb program during WWII ...
Arthur Strilky today
||In 1945, Tech Sergeant Arthur Strilky was the Hog Wild's Radio
Operator. As he was preparing to bail out from his burning plane, he was
ordered to brace for a crash landing on a Soviet airfield in (what is now)
Hamhung, North Korea.
Arthur Strilky, the last surviving crewman of the Hog Wild's last mission, was
interviewed at length about his experiences aboard the Hog Wild, and his 16-day
internment at the Konan POW camp.
Arthur Strilky at 19
||Four months prior to Hiroshima, a member of the U.S. Army's
Military Intelligence Service (MIS) made the most explosive revelation of WWII.
Unfortunately, his superior officer, the head of intelligence in China, didn't
take him seriously and chose not to pass the information up the chain of
On August 6, 1945, the United States deployed the atomic bomb and won the war.
However, had Japan won the race to build the bomb, this Japanese-American would
be famously known as the man who did his best to change history.
|| Richard Rhodes is the
two-time Pulitzer prize-winning author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb
and Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb.
Both books rely, in part, on an English translation of the "Tonizo
Report," a 1943 Japanese atomic bomb document which was smuggled into the
United States after the war. Unfortunately, the translation contains numerous
errors, which led - in some cases - to incorrect conclusions about Japanese
Prof. Sergei Khrushchev
||Sergei Khrushchev is the son of former Soviet Premier Nikita
Khrushchev and a scholar of Soviet history at Brown University. He commented on
the downing of the Hog Wild from his unique respective.
Among the questions he was asked, include...
Why would Russians pilots and officers befriend the crew of an American
plane, just days after nearly causing their death?
Regarding the downing of the Hog Wild, if high-ranking Soviet officers and
the the head of the Soviet High Command offer different explanations, whom
should be believed?
Sergei with his father
Prof. Bruce Cumings
||Prof. Bruce Cumings, Ph.D.. is the History Department Chair,
University of Chicago. He is an authority in modern Korean history, and the
author of several books on the subject, including The Origins of the Korean
War - Liberation an Emergence of Separate Regimes, 1945-1947.
Prof. Marvin Makinen
||In 1961, the 22-year-old student, Marvin W. Makinen, was
arrested in the Soviet Union on charges of espionage, and sentenced to eight
The following year, U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers and the Soviet
"superspy" Rudolf Abel were exchanged during the famous
"swap" across Berlin's Glienicke Bridge.
Although the release of Makinen was discussed during those highly-sensitive and
top-secret negotiations, he was not released until 1963, after having served
time in a Moscow prison and a Soviet labor camp.
Today, Marvin Makinen is a professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics
at the University of Chicago.
Prof. Frederic Pryor
||While Frederic Pryor was a student,
working on his Master's thesis, he was arrested and imprisoned for espionage in
East Germany. He (along with Gary Powers, the U-2 pilot) was exchanged for the
Soviet spy Rudolph Abel.
Unlike the famous "swap" across the Glienicke Bridge that Francis
Gary Powers took, Pryor was released at "Checkpoint Charlie" moments
before the Soviet spy was permitted to cross.
Today, Frederic Pryor is a professor of economics at Swarthmore College in
Robert K. Wilcox
||Robert K. Wilcox is the author of Japan's Secret War
and a long-time, staunch defender of the journalist David Snell. In 1980,
Wilcox interviewed Snell.
On Oct. 3, 1946, Snell wrote a front-page, headline story in the Atlanta
Constitution which claimed that Japanese scientists had built and tested an
atomic weapon at sea, just days before Japan surrendered.
When Soviet forces arrived in Hungnam, they discovered the Japanese nuclear
facility, kidnapped six of its scientists, and tortured them for their atomic
Snell also speculated that the Hog Wild was downed by the Soviets to
keep the crew from discovering the former-Japanese nuclear facility.
As an investigative reporter for LIFE Magazine, Snell wrote an article about
the Gary Powers spy swap that "piqued the interest of the CIA."
Prof. Fran de Groen
|| Prof. Fran
de Groen's father was serving with Australia's 8th Division when they
surrendered to the Japanese in 1942. He then spent the rest of WWII in a Korean
Prof. de Groen is currently an Adjunct Professor with the School of Humanities
and Languages at the University of West Sidney. She is collecting oral
histories, memoirs and memorabilia from Australian ex-prisoners of war interned
in Korean POW camps.
Dr. Herbert York
|| Dr. Herbert York, is an
eminent physicist from the University of California (Berkeley), a member of the
Manhattan Project, and the former chief scientist at the Department of Defense.
In 1978, he confirmed rumors that Japan had been working on an atomic bomb
during WWII. When asked if that would have changed his opinion about the use of
atomic bombs on Japan, he said, "Actually, such knowledge would not have
changed my own thinking about Japan, but I imagine that many others might have
taken a much harder view of Japan."
Dr. York died on May 19, 2009, a few weeks after he was interviewed by the
co-author of Flight of the Hog Wild. Dr. York was asked one crucial
question: Did he recall a Korean professor - a student of Albert Einstein - who
had studied mathematics under Albert Einstein in Germany and taught at the
University of California while Dr. York was at Berkeley doing atomic research.
|Ivan Tsapov was Vice Commander of the 14th Fighter Regiment
during the Soviet invasion of Korea. When an "unmarked" and
"unannounced" American B-29 appeared over a Soviet Air Force base in
Hungnam, a four-man "war council" was convened to determine how best
to handle the situation.
Tsapov, along with Commander Major Savchenko, ordered the Hog Wild to land.
When Lieut. Queen refused, and instead elected to fly out to sea, Yak fighters
pursued the Hog Wild, fired on it, forcing the B-29 to crash-land on a Soviet
Vice Commander Ivan Tsapov
|There were five Allied officers at the Konan POW Camp: three
British, one Canadian, and one Australian. Lieutenant Ronald Mill (seen at the
right) was the only Australian officer at the Camp during their two year
He wrote the official report on the Konan POW Camp, and drew the official floor
Ronald's son, John Mill, has agreed to wrote a brief introduction to The
Flight of the Hog Wild as a tribute to the 354 Allied prisoners who endured
so much, and yet have nearly been forgotten...
Ronald Mill and a Russian driver
|After the Hog Wild was forced down by Soviet fighters, two
officers and two enlisted men from the Konan POW Camp went searching for the
the Hog Wild crew at the Soviet airdrome.
Bill Gray was one of those men.
Until his last day on Earth, his memories of the incident, the Hog Wild crew,
and the POW Camp remained sharp. Unfortunately, Bill Gray has recently passed
|Visiliy Sibir - a member of General
Chistiakov's 25th Army - took part in the Soviet invasion of northern Korea on
August 9, 1945. His eyewitness accounts reveal aspects of the Soviet occupation
of Hungnam - where the Hog Wild crew was interned for sixteen days - a topic
about which most American historians are completely unaware.
|Timur Latypov is a Russian Journalist. In December 2006,
Latypov interviewed a Tu-4 test pilot Grigory Balakin for the Russian newspaper
"Time & Money." During that interview, Balakin explained that he
saw the Hog Wild being shot down by Yak fighters, and he gave a rare glimpse
into what Russian aviators thought about the interior design of the Tu-4 (a
near-copy of the B-29 Superfortress).
Balakin then made one of the most fascinating revelations of this complex story
: What became of the Hog Wild after its crew departed Korea?