• The Expendable

  • The True Story of Patrol Wing 10, Pt Squadron 3, and a Navy Corpsman who Refused to Surrender when the Philippine Islands Fell to Japan
  • By: John Lewis Floyd
  • Narrated by: Phil Thron
  • Length: 17 hrs and 4 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (116 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

As smoke billows skyward from Pearl Harbor, Japan throws its full military might against the outnumbered and under-equipped Filipino forces. Admiral Hart sends his US Asiatic Fleet south, to the safety of Allied waters. When remnants of PBY Patrol Wing 10 depart with the fleet, Charles Beckner, corpsman for Squadron 102, is left behind with no apparent avenue for escape. 

Under relentless pressure from Japanese forces, American and Filipino troops retreat down the Bataan Peninsula. Sick with malaria and dysentery and out of food and ammunition, surrender is imminent for those who survive. Charles joins Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 3 as machine gunner and corpsman on PT-34. After two months of fighting along the Bataan coast, Squadron 3 is tasked with a critical, covert mission that once more leaves Charles stranded, this time on the southern Philippine island of Cebu. As the Japanese noose tightens, Charles makes his way to the island of Mindanao and joins other sailors and soldiers preparing for guerrilla resistance. 

His plans are interrupted by new orders that will unexpectedly reunite him with crewmen of his old seaplane squadron. With advancing Japanese troops only minutes away, there is one possibility for escape. It is risky, and failure will be fatal. 

"Highly readable narrative of personal courage from PBYs to PT boats John Floyd has done an admirable job of preserving the stories of his father-in-law in a fast-paced and highly readable narrative. Originally assigned as a Navy corpsman to a PBY patrol wing, Charles Beckner was not only on Corregidor with MacArthur, but also in the chaos of the start of the war in the Pacific he ended up in the PT-boat squadron that evacuated the general from the Philippines. Highly recommended as the story of one family’s sacrifices well told in the context of the broader war." (Walter Borneman, author of The Admirals and MacArthur at War)

Winner, Arizona Authors Association 2020 Literary Magazine award.

©2020 John Lewis Floyd (P)2020 John Lewis Floyd

What listeners say about The Expendable

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Wonderful book !

I highly recommend reading this book or listening to it like I did! Very interesting !

4 people found this helpful

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I love bio's from people who lived though it

Ok , assuming the Bio is factual . The story was easy to listen to . Information was presented well . of course I want to learn about the different parts of this mans journey and see if others wrote about their experience at that time.

2 people found this helpful

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Phil Thron NEVER DISAPPOINTS

I discovered this book because I was looking at more books narrated by Thron. I'm so glad I discovered it. was a great story,!!. you will not be disappointed
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2 people found this helpful

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OUTSTANDING STORY!

If you served as a Corpsman then you know this is true… Enjoy this book!

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A magnificent book and a significant contribution.

A magnificent book and a significant contribution to any World War Ii Historian's library. Heartbreaking and inspirational . . .

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Reads more like a novel

Reads like a novel written by someone who has never been within 2000 miles of the Navy. Never called my Chief sir after boot camp, never called the head a bathroom and never checked in using both first and last name, just rate, rank, and last name. The way first names are thrown around it’s like they are at a cocktail party in a civilian setting.

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Spellbinding Adventure and True

Story follows a young Navy Corpsman beginning with his enlistment, through combat against the Japanese invasion of the Philippines, and into his long journey to escape. The first few chapters covered the somewhat atypical life of a new enlistee. But from there, the story grew into an enthralling tale of survival during the dark period after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and invasion of key territories in the Pacific. I thoroughly enjoyed the story, along with its' heroic characters, and didn't realize that it was factual until reaching the epilogue. The narrator was excellent.

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To much conversation

I enjoyed reading about the beginning of the Pacific war in the Philippines but I must say this book had too much conversation. Almost all the information given to the reader was through unrealistic conversations and it became redundant and annoying very quickly.

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Great book incredible story

Loved the book. I had read the basic facts in other 📚 but this personal account really brought the human experience of these events.

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Riveting!

This book captured my attention immediately and held to the end!
It is definitely in my listen again list!!

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  • Robin
  • 07-27-21

Great read

Very good historical book of the Japanese attack on the Phillipines, gave a good insight to the attack, the hopeless feeling of being left behind and the lack of aircraft defence and air cover. The inability to defend the Phillipines and the inevitable return of the allies and victory over the Japanese. The death of prisoners of war to the Japanese far exceeded the death of P O Ws to the Germans

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  • Bertjnz
  • 01-13-21

Awesome

Perhaps a little long winded in the first parts but enthralling read towards the end.