OMAHA, Nebraska (AP) -- Fred Hargesheimer, a World War II Army pilot whose rescue by Pacific islanders led to a life of giving back as a builder of schools and teacher of children, has passed away at age 94.
Richard Hargesheimer says his father had been suffering from poor health and passed away Thursday morning in Lincoln.
Hargesheimer was shot down by a Japanese fighter while on a mission over the Japanese-held island of New Britain in the southwest Pacific in June 1943. He parachuted into the trackless jungle, where he barely survived for 31 days until found by local hunters. They took him to their coastal village and for seven months hid him from Japanese patrols.
Hargesheimer later returned to help the village build its first school.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)