Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Edge of Terror

The Edge of Terror

The Heroic Story of American Families Trapped in the Japanese-occupied Philippines

Scott Walker

Thomas Dunne Books




A gripping account of courage, death, and survival in the war-torn islands of the Philippines.

As Japanese military strategists planned their secret offensive against the United States in 1941, they designed a simultaneous two-pronged attack to wipe out American military might in the Pacific. While American battleships blew up and sank in Pearl Harbor, Japanese bombers approached the Philippines, soon destroying both American air and naval forces and leaving General Douglas MacArthur's ground forces in disarray. As the shipping piers in Manila harbor burned, nearly six thousand American civilians were suddenly trapped in the islands for the duration of the war. There would be no more ocean liners or Pan Am Clippers to transport them to safety. These unfortunate individuals and families became the largest body of American citizens ever captured by an enemy army.

Soon most of these hapless civilians realized that they had little option but to surrender to the invading Japanese and be placed in squalid internment camps. However, on the small island of Panay, a group of American missionaries and gold miners bound their fates together and withdrew into hiding in the jungle. Some joined with the Filipino guerrilla forces, actively resisting the Japanese. Others quietly continued their humanitarian tasks amidst the horrors of war. But all of them experienced living hell together.

For the first time in more than fifty years, the little-known story is told of these brave American civilians on Panay. Drawing on diaries, memoirs, family interviews, and military archives, Scott Walker describes daily life during the occupation and the danger these Americans faced in their efforts to serve both God and country. Both a story of profound tragedy and miraculous escape, The Edge of Terror is one of the most intense and dramatic accounts to emerge from World War II.


Edge of Terror, The

Chapter One
The Philippine Islands, 1898-1935
Until the end of the nineteenth century few Americans had heard of the Philippine islands. Those who had would be hard-pressed to locate the...


Praise for The Edge of Terror

“His book will stand the test of time.... It really does exemplify the best of both worlds, of very good scholarship and very good writing.” —Dallas Morning News on Hell's Broke Loose in Georgia

“A gifted writer who tells an enthralling story.” —Sue Monk Kidd on Glimpses of God

“The vicissitudes of life and the work of the Spirit molded Walker into a well-rounded theologian. Those suffering their own vicissitudes in seeking a fully mature Christian faith will likely find this work consoling.” —M. Scott Peck, author of The Road Less Traveled, on Where the Rivers Flow

“Clearly written and wonderfully wise. Many people will benefit from reading it.” —Rabbi Harold Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People, on Driven No More

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Scott Walker

SCOTT WALKER is the director of the Institute of Life Purpose and senior lecturer at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. He earned a doctorate in adult education from the University of Georgia, specializing in adult developmental studies. Reared in the Philippines by missionary parents, he has spent a lifetime preparing to write The Edge of Terror. Walker is the author of ten books, including the recent American Civil War saga Hell's Broke Loose in Georgia.

Scott Walker

From the Publisher

Thomas Dunne Books

Latest on Facebook