The Airmen and the Headhunters

  • by Judith M. Heimann
  • Narrated by Susan Ericksen
  • 8 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

November 1944: Army airmen set out in a B-24 bomber on what should have been an easy mission off the Borneo coast. Instead, they found themselves unexpectedly facing a Japanese fleet and were shot down. When they cut themselves loose from their parachutes, they were scattered across the island's mountainous interior. Then a group of loincloth-wearing natives silently materialized out of the jungle. Would these Dayak tribesmen turn the starving airmen over to the hostile Japanese occupiers? Or would the Dayaks risk vicious reprisals to get the airmen safely home? The tribal leaders' unprecedented decision led to a desperate game of hide-and-seek and, ultimately, the return of a long-renounced ritual: head-hunting.
A cinematic survival story that features a bamboo airstrip built on a rice paddy, a mad British major, and a blowpipe-wielding army that helped destroy one of the last Japanese strongholds, The Airmen and the Headhunters is a gripping, you-are-there journey into the remote world and forgotten heroism of the Dayaks.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


A most unusual story, made all that more intriguing by being true. Couldn't stop listening.
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- She

Great wartime survival story

This is an interesting and suspenseful story. I've been to Borneo recently, and had the benefit of guidebooks and the internet to learn about the island before I went, so it was interesting to hear that the airmen didn't have access to similar information before flying missions over the island.

As a side note, ignore the reviewer who complains about the narrator's accents. The accents are fairly mild, and not used very frequently. I can't believe someone could read this incredible story of courage and survival, and then whine about some accents.
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- Planetary Defense Commander

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-09-2007
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio