Dieter Dengler
Vietnam War prisoner of war
Dieter Dengler
Dieter Dengler was a German-born United States Navy Naval aviator and pilot during the Vietnam War (and later a private aircraft test pilot and commercial airline pilot). He was one of two survivors (the other being Pisidhi Indradat), out of seven prisoners of wars, to escape from a Pathet Lao prison camp in Laos. He was rescued after 23 days on the run, and was the first captured U.S.
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Dieter Dengler's personal information overview.
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Bama Art House to descend into Herzog's 'Cave of Forgotten Dreams' - al.com (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
In 2006 with "Rescue Dawn," he managed to turn Dieter Dengler's unsettling story of survival in a Vietnamese prison camp into an adventurous tale of hope and survival that we could recommend to our friends and family. "Cave of Forgotten Dreams" was
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Google News article
The Ecstasy of Saint Herzog - Brooklyn Rail
Google News - over 5 years
He's been accused of “coaching” documentary subjects like Dieter Dengler, whose neurotic tic of opening and shutting doors in Little Dieter Needs to Fly, is said to have been contrived for effect. He's aggravated animal rights groups for his treatment
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Google News article
50 Great Films You Shouldn't Miss… Part 1 - Obsessed With Film
Google News - almost 6 years
Based on the true story of pilot Dieter Dengler (Christian Bale), who crashed during the war, it recounts his time as a POW and subsequent escape into the harsh Cambodian jungle surrounding the camp. Strange in that unexplainable Herzog way,
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Google News article
Rescue Dawn - Lansing State Journal
Google News - almost 6 years
The fact-based film recounts the 1966 downing of US Navy pilot Dieter Dengler on a bombing run over Laos, his months of captivity and his methodically planned escape. Dengler, as played by Christian Bale, is a naive good guy and an oddball - no
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'It Was Not A Significant Bullet': The Films Of Werner Herzog - Indie Wire (blog)
Google News - almost 6 years
[B-] Before there was Christian Bale and “Rescue Dawn,” there was “Little Dieter Needs To Fly,” a documentary about Dieter Dengler, like Herzog, a German expat who migrated to the US in post-decimated WW2 Deutchland, to fulfill his dreams of being of
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Movie Guide and Film Series
NYTimes - over 9 years
MOVIES Ratings and running times are in parentheses; foreign films have English subtitles. Full reviews of all current releases, movie trailers, show times and tickets: nytimes.com/movies. 'ARCTIC TALE' (G, 85 minutes) Displaying more corn than is usually found at the North Pole, Adam Ravetch and Sarah Robertson's global-warming-for-tykes
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NYTimes article
Movie Guide and Film Series
NYTimes - over 9 years
MOVIES Ratings and running times are in parentheses; foreign films have English subtitles. Full reviews of all current releases, movie trailers, show times and tickets: nytimes.com/movies. 'ARCTIC TALE' (G, 85 minutes) Displaying more corn than is usually found at the North Pole, Adam Ravetch and Sarah Robertson's global-warming-for-tykes
Article Link:
NYTimes article
Review
NYTimes - over 9 years
MOVIES Ratings and running times are in parentheses; foreign films have English subtitles. Full reviews of all current releases, movie trailers, show times and tickets: nytimes.com/movies. 'ARCTIC TALE' (G, 85 minutes) Displaying more corn than is usually found at the North Pole, Adam Ravetch and Sarah Robertson's global-warming-for-tykes
Article Link:
NYTimes article
Movies
NYTimes - over 9 years
MOVIES Ratings and running times are in parentheses; foreign films have English subtitles. Full reviews of all current releases, movie trailers, show times and tickets: nytimes.com/movies. 'ARCTIC TALE' (G, 85 minutes) Displaying more corn than is usually found at the North Pole, Adam Ravetch and Sarah Robertson's global-warming-for-tykes
Article Link:
NYTimes article
Movies
NYTimes - over 9 years
MOVIES Ratings and running times are in parentheses; foreign films have English subtitles. Full reviews of all current releases, movie trailers, show times and tickets: nytimes.com/movies. 'BRAND UPON THE BRAIN' (No rating, 96 minutes) A baroque entertainment with one foot in silent cinema and the other gingerly toeing the sound waves, Guy Maddin's
Article Link:
NYTimes article
Movies
NYTimes - over 9 years
MOVIES Ratings and running times are in parentheses; foreign films have English subtitles. Full reviews of all current releases, movie trailers, show times and tickets: nytimes.com/movies. 'BRAND UPON THE BRAIN' (No rating, 96 minutes) A baroque entertainment with one foot in silent cinema and the other gingerly toeing the sound waves, Guy Maddin's
Article Link:
NYTimes article
Movies
NYTimes - over 9 years
MOVIES Ratings and running times are in parentheses; foreign films have English subtitles. Full reviews of all current releases, movie trailers, show times and tickets: nytimes.com/movies. 'BRAND UPON THE BRAIN' (No rating, 96 minutes) A baroque entertainment with one foot in silent cinema and the other gingerly toeing the sound waves, Guy Maddin's
Article Link:
NYTimes article
MOVIE REVIEW | 'RESCUE DAWN'; A Vietnam P.O.W. Story, Tangling With the Vines of Convention
NYTimes - over 9 years
The Navy airman Dieter Dengler (Christian Bale), the hero of Werner Herzog's Vietnam-era P.O.W. escape film, ''Rescue Dawn,'' at first seems a conventional action-movie hero: handsome, resourceful, brave and optimistic. But the more time spent with him, the more eccentricities he reveals. He has a geeky laugh. His sunny-side-up speechifying
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NYTimes article
Werner Herzog Is Still Breaking the Rules
NYTimes - over 9 years
WERNER HERZOG'S films tend to thrust man up against nature, and nature is not a particularly forgiving adversary. In the jungles of South America (''Aguirre, Wrath of God'' and ''Fitzcarraldo'') or the wilderness of Alaska (the documentary ''Grizzly Man'') Mr. Herzog's characters -- real or imagined -- attempt to hold on to their sanity and lives.
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NYTimes article
SUMMER MOVIES; Old Friends? New Foes? Your Choice
NYTimes - almost 10 years
All dates are subject to change. May Opened Missing Victor Pellerin The title of Sophie Deraspe's documentary refers to a Montreal artist who disappeared in the early '90s after burning his work. Waitress Adrienne Shelly, who was murdered last November, directed, wrote and stars in this comedy about a small-town waitress (Keri Russell) who bakes
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NYTimes article
SUMMER MOVIES; Werner Herzog's New Direction
NYTimes - almost 12 years
''EVERYBODY is the center of their universe,'' the Dalai Lama remarks in Werner Herzog's ''Wheel of Time.'' If so, that's not the only thing this Buddhist holy man has in common with the British inventor of a one-man helium dirigible and a New Age naturalist devoured by a grizzly bear: each of them is the subject of a Werner Herzog film. Mr. Herzog
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NYTimes article
FILM; Herzog Goes Hollywood? Yes, but Actually No
NYTimes - over 14 years
HE trekked up volcanoes about to erupt and waded through jungle rivers full of poisonous stingrays. He employed tribes of South American Indians as extras, hiring prostitutes to keep them happy on location; he shot scenes involving monkeys that made audiences wince long before there were ''we've been kind to animals'' disclaimers. For a generation
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NYTimes article
FILM REVIEW; Eating Glue and Biting a Snake
NYTimes - almost 19 years
Werner Herzog tells a real-life tall tale in ''Little Dieter Needs To Fly,'' a documentary that describes enough breakneck adventures for any action hero. But the swashbuckler who is the film's subject, Dieter Dengler, mostly describes his exploits from memory. Now a garrulous extrovert living a comfortable life near San Francisco, he talks of
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NYTimes article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Dieter Dengler
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2001
    Age 62
    Dengler was diagnosed with ALS, an incurable neurological disorder; on February 7, 2001, he rolled his wheelchair from his house down to the driveway of a fire station and shot himself.
    More Details Hide Details He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. A Navy honor guard was present at the burial as well as a fly-over by Navy F-14 Tomcats. Dengler was married three times: to Marina Adamich (1966 – March 1970), to Irene Lam (September 11, 1980 – April 3, 1984) and to Yukiko Dengler (1998 until his death February 7, 2001). Dengler is also survived by two sons, Rolf and Alexander Dengler, and three grandsons, Tayden, Crixus and Corbin Dengler. Dengler was the recipient of the following medals:
  • 2000
    Age 61
    In 2000, Dengler was inducted into the Gathering of Eagles program and told the story of his escape to groups of young military officers.
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  • FIFTIES
  • 1997
    Age 58
    Dengler was the subject of Werner Herzog's 1997 documentary Little Dieter Needs to Fly.
    More Details Hide Details Herzog went on to direct a dramatized version of the story, Rescue Dawn, which stars Christian Bale as Dengler. The film was shown at festivals throughout the end of 2006 and received a limited theatrical release in the USA on July 4, 2007, before the general release later that month. The film was released as a DVD in November 2007. The movie Rescue Dawn was subjected to severe criticism by members of the family of Eugene DeBruin and Phisit Intharathat, the other survivor of the group. Herzog acknowledged that DeBruin acted heroically during his imprisonment, refusing to leave while some sick prisoners remained, but Herzog claimed to be unaware of this fact until after the film had been completed. Herzog states that this narrative aspect probably would have been included had he learned it earlier. DeBruin family members, however, said that Herzog was uninterested in speaking with them prior to the completion of the movie.
  • FORTIES
  • 1988
    Age 49
    Dengler appears in the 1988 documentary We Can Keep You Forever about the POW/MIA issue generally.
    More Details Hide Details The documentary was written and directed by Christopher Olgiati. Gerry DeBruin, brother of Eugene DeBruin, is also interviewed. Information in the documentary appears at greater length in the 1990 book The Bamboo Cage: The Full Story of the American Servicemen Still Missing in Vietnam by Nigel Cawthorne.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1968
    Age 29
    In early 1968, Dengler was a contestant on the nighttime edition of the comedy game show Hollywood Squares.
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  • 1967
    Age 28
    Dengler made an appearance as one of the contestants on the January 30, 1967 episode of the television game show I've Got a Secret.
    More Details Hide Details His secret, as told to host Steve Allen, was that he had escaped from a POW camp in Laos. Dengler said that his weight had dropped to 93 pounds by the time he was rescued. During this appearance, both of Dengler's hands were bandaged in large casts. He explained that he had recently cut his tendons by accidentally falling through a sheet of plate glass.
  • 1966
    Age 27
    He found one on a bush and placed it in his rucksack. On July 20, 1966, after 23 days in the jungle, Dengler managed to signal an Air Force pilot with the parachute.
    More Details Hide Details A 2-ship flight of Air Force Skyraiders from the 1st Air Commando Squadron happened to fly up the river where Dengler was. Eugene Peyton Deatrick, the pilot of the lead plane and the squadron commander, spotted a flash of white while making a turn at the river's bend and came back and spotted a man waving something white. Deatrick and his wingman contacted rescue forces, but were told to ignore the sighting, as no airmen were known to be down in the area. Deatrick persisted and eventually managed to convince the command and control center to dispatch a rescue force. Fearing that Dengler might be a Viet Cong soldier, the helicopter crew restrained him when he was brought aboard. According to the documentary, Little Dieter Needs to Fly, Dengler said one of the flight crew who was holding him down pulled out a half eaten snake from underneath Dengler's clothing and was so surprised he nearly fell out of the helicopter. The person who threw Dengler to the floor of the helicopter was Air Force Pararescue specialist Michael Leonard from Lawler, Iowa. Leonard stripped Dengler of his clothes, making sure he was not armed or in possession of a hand grenade. When questioned, Dengler told Leonard that he escaped from a North Vietnamese prisoner of war camp two months earlier. Deatrick radioed the rescue helicopter crew to see if they could identify the person they had just hoisted up from the jungle.
    On February 1, 1966, the day after the carrier began flying missions from Yankee Station, Lieutenant, Junior Grade Dengler launched from the Ranger with three other aircraft on an interdiction mission against a truck convoy that had been reported in North Vietnam.
    More Details Hide Details Thunderstorms forced the pilots to divert to their secondary target, a road intersection located west of the Mu Gia Pass in Laos. At the time, U.S. air operations in Laos were classified "secret". Visibility was poor due to smoke from burning fields, and upon rolling in on the target, LTJG Dengler and the remainder of his flight lost sight of one another. Visibility was poor, and as Dengler rolled his Skyraider in on the target after flying for two-and-a-half hours into enemy territory, he was strafed by anti-aircraft fire.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1957
    Age 18
    He was assured that piloting aircraft was what the Air Force was all about so he enlisted in June 1957 and went to basic training at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, Texas.
    More Details Hide Details After basic training Dengler was initially assigned duty as a motor pool mechanic. His qualifications as a machinist led to an assignment as a gunsmith. He passed the test for aviation cadets, but was told that only college grads were selected to be pilots and his enlistment expired before he was selected for pilot training. After his discharge Dengler joined his brother working in a bakery shop near San Francisco, and enrolled in San Francisco City College, then transferred to the College of San Mateo, where he studied aeronautics. Upon completion of two years of college he applied for the US Navy aviation cadet program and was accepted. Dieter would do whatever it took to become a pilot. In his inaugural flight at primary flight training, for example, the instructor told Dieter that if he became airsick and vomited in the cockpit that he would receive a "down" on his record. Students were only allowed three downs then they would wash out of flight training. The instructor of course, took the plane through spins and loops causing Dieter to become dizzy and disoriented. Knowing he was about to vomit and not wanting to receive a "down" Dieter took off his boot, threw up into it and put it back on. At the end of the flight the instructor checked the cockpit and could smell the vomit, but couldn’t find any evidence of it. He didn’t get a "down".
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1939
    Age 0
    Dieter Dengler was born and raised in the small town of Wildberg, in the Black Forest region of the German state of Baden-Württemberg. He grew up not knowing his father, who had been drafted into the German army in 1939 and was killed during World War II on the Eastern Front during the winter of 1943/44.
    More Details Hide Details Dieter became very close to his mother and brothers. Dengler's maternal grandfather, Hermann Schnuerle, refused to vote for Adolf Hitler in the 1934 elections (which was considered a referendum on Hitler). Subsequently he was paraded around town with a placard around his neck, was spat upon and was then sent to labor in a rock mine for a year. Dengler credited his grandfather's resolve as a major inspiration during his time in Laos. His grandfather's steadfastness despite the great risks was one reason Dengler refused a North Vietnamese demand that he sign a document condemning American aggression in Southeast Asia. Dengler's first experience with aircraft was when he witnessed an Allied fighter plane firing its guns as it flew very close past a window young Dieter was peering out of in his hometown. From that moment on, Dengler said he knew that he wanted to be a pilot.
  • 1938
    Born
    Born on May 22, 1938.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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