About William Lorin Taylor
Civilian POW from Wake Island Shanghai War Prisoners Camp - Kiawgwan Shanghai
William L. Taylor, like many of the Wake Island POWs, was relocated to China for forced labor for the Japanese army. In 1945 he was traveling on a Japanese train as work detail from Shanghai when he escaped with Jack Hernandez by jumping off the train when Japanese guards were not looking. Hernandez broke his leg and was forced to stay as Taylor continued his journey. Down the line, Taylor reluctantly met up with Chinese Communist soldiers who he quoted as saying "You're OK now, we are friends with the Americans." After 10 weeks of traveling with the Chinese Communists in northern China he was able to contact American military forces who called for a plane to pick him up and bring him to an American base in northern China. Before he left China he met Mao Zedong who gave him a gift of Chinese rugs and told him he was the only POW who had successfully come through north China. In an interview with the History Channel during the segment "Wake Island: The Alamo of the Pacific" he claims that Mao "saved his life".