Through My Mother's Eyes - The Story of a Young Girl's Life as a Prisoner of War

Americans held in Philippines’ World War II POW Camps: A True Story of Family Heroism
Through My Mother's Eyes
Through My Mother's Eyes
Nov. 4, 2010 - PRLog -- After the attack on Pearl Harbor, over 3,600 civilians -- American and British -- living in the Philippines were forced to surrender to the Imperial Japanese Army and became civilian prisoners in internment camps. The true story of a survivor is told in Through My Mother’s Eyes, by author Michael McCoy.

This gripping account of the Faggiano family is seen through the eyes of the author’s mother, Jean-Marie Faggiano. Jean-Marie was just a little girl when Pearl Harbor was attacked in 1941. The following month, the Imperial Japanese Army began their occupation of the Philippines and captured all non-national civilians, mostly American and British businessmen and their families. They were forced into prison camps and became civilian prisoners of war for over three years. This story takes you through the horrific capture and imprisonment of an entire family as they are taken to the Santo Tomas Internment Camp in Manila. The brutal struggle for survival within the gates of Santo Tomas, in a world of rampant sickness, starvation and brutality, leaves them searching for the strength and courage needed to survive. The story follows the Faggiano family through their liberation from the camp and to America, where Jean-Marie finally comes to grips with her devastating past and her hopeful present life.

Through My Mother’s Eyes delivers a shocking and compelling view into the life of a family faced with tremendous crisis counteracted by heroism, courage, love, and resilience, and into a facet of WWII history seldom explored.    

THROUGH MY MOTHER’S EYES (ISBN: #978-1-60693-015-1) is available in hardcover for $24.95 and can be ordered through the publisher’s website:
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About the Author:                                                                                            
Michael McCoy is the eldest son of Jean-Marie Heskett (Faggiano). From the time he first heard the story of the internment of his mother, uncle, and grandparents in the Santo Tomas Internment Camp, he became fascinated with history, especially as it related to World War II.

Following his graduation from high school in Sonoma Valley in 1973, Michael was a Communication Studies major at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California. Michael received recognition and won several awards for speech writing and delivery during that time, and chose to follow a career in journalism following college and his enlistment in the U.S. Navy.

Michael has worked as a news copywriter and producer for several talk radio shows in Northern California.  Today, Michael is a radio personality, author, and screenwriter in the San Francisco Bay Area. He lives in Sonoma County with his wife, Angela. His son, Thomas, is a network analyst living in Las Vegas.

Michael’s screenplay adaptation of the book was the winner of the Northern California Filmmakers and Screenwriters Expo Script Competition in Napa, California on March 28, 2010. “Under the Rising Sun” has also garnered awards from several prestigious screenplay competitions, including a top three finalist win in the 2010 Los Angeles International Screenplay Competition.

About Jean-Marie Heskett (Faggiano):
Jean-Marie Heskett (Faggiano) was born in Shanghai, China, on October 15, 1935. Her father, Gene Faggiano, worked for the Dollar Steamship Company, also known as the “Dollar Line” (later to become the American President Lines) and was stationed overseas. The family moved from Shanghai to Hong Kong, then to Cebu, Philippines, and finally to Manila, where they lived until the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the beginning of WWII in 1941.

The Faggiano family, along with more than 3,600 other “enemy aliens,” were taken prisoner by the Imperial Japanese forces in January of 1942 and spent the next thirty-seven months as civilian POWs at the Santo Tomas Internment Camp in Manila until their rescue by American and Filipino forces on February 3, 1945.

The first time Jean-Marie set eyes on the United States was when her liberation ship, the USS Admiral W. L. Capps (AP-121), first approached the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California, in April of 1945.

"It was the most beautiful sight I’d ever seen. For many of us, it was something that we’d dreamed and prayed that we’d live to see one day. It was the welcoming gate of freedom. As soon as it became visible, many of us cheered and celebrated. And just as many stood there on the deck and cried.”

Jean-Marie lives in retirement today in Santa Rosa, California, after working over thirty years as a quality inspector at Hewlett-Packard/Agilent Technologies in Sonoma County. Jean-Marie loves to travel and speak to groups about her experiences as a POW during World War II.                  

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Tags:Prisoner Of War, World War Ii, Prison Camps, Santo Tomas Internment Camp, Courage, Heroism, Family, Michael Mccoy
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