The last WW2 POW to be repatriated was a Hungarian soldier who sat in a Russian mental hospital for 53 years before a linguist realized that he wasn’t actually talking gibberish.
Captain Richard Antrim was captured in 1942 & held as a POW. During this time, he impressed with his engineering skills & helped the Japanese arrange trenches. From the air, the trenches spelled out “US”, warning bombers not to attack and that it was a POW camp, saving hundreds of lives.
A man kayaked from Germany to Australia between 1932-1939 only to arrive and be detained as a POW due to the outbreak of WW2.
Vietnam War POW Doug Hegdahl pretended to be illiterate to fool his captors, who believed him to be so stupid that they gave him almost free rein of the camp. He was able to secretly memorize the details of about 256 POWs to the tune of “Old MacDonald,” which he still remembers.
More than 900 American troops were alive at the end of the Korean War but were never released by the North Koreans. In 1996, as many as 15 of them might have still been alive.
Franz Von Werra, a Nazi POW who was transfered to Canada to deter his multiple escapes and recaptures, escaped again in less than a month, traveling through the US, Mexico, Brazil, Spain and Italy to become the only Western held POW to return to combat. On 25 October 1941 Von Werra took off in Bf 109F-4 (W.Nr. 7285) on a practice flight. He suffered engine failure and crashed into the sea north of Vlissingen and was killed. His body was never found.
30 British officers tried to escape POW camp “Castle Colditz” (Oflag IV-C) by digging a tunnel. Because they read the compass wrong, they landed in the wine cellar of a German colonel. There they drank 137 bottles of wine, filled them with their urine and placed them back.
To annoy his captors, an American POW in North Korea would pretend every day that he was riding around on an invisible motorcycle until eventually, his captors “confiscated” the motorcycle and stated that it was “against the rules and regulations.”
The US playing card company ‘Bicycle’ had manufactured a playing card in WW2. That, when the card was soaked, it would reveal an escape route for POWs. These cards were Christmas presents for all POWs in Germany.
American POWs in the Korean War would commonly give the finger to the camera when their photo was taken by their captors. At the time, the gesture meant nothing to Koreans, so the soldiers got away with it.