Headhunters of WWII Ch4 20:15 09/10


Headhunters of World War II - Channel 4

The incredible story of the US airmen stranded in Borneo in 1945, the local Dayak tribe, and the British major who encouraged the tribe's ancient headhunting custom against the Japanese
From the Telegraph:


CRITIC’S CHOICE: Headhunters of World War II

Channel 4, 8.15pm

At the height of the Second World War, a bizarre battle unfolded in the jungles of Borneo. In November 1944, US airmen parachuted from damaged B-24 Liberator planes and landed in dense bush on the South-East Asian island. They crashed through the trees into a forgotten world populated by the Dayaks: the notorious wild men of Borneo, who still hunted with spears, blowpipes and tree bark poison. After a game of cat and mouse, the stranded Americans formed an unlikely alliance with the tribesmen, who put their lives on the line to prevent their capture by Japanese patrols. Eventually, the Dayaks resurrected the ancient ritual of headhunting in deadly attacks on the Japanese. The tale then takes a further twist, with the arrival of maverick British officer Major Tom Harrisson – a former anthropologist on a mission to rescue Allied airmen and encourage guerrilla resistance. Harrisson offered the Dayaks a bounty of five Dutch guilders per head – literally. His native army killed a thousand Japanese. This film tells the fascinating story and includes the memories of octogenarian Dayaks and the sole surviving US veteran. Stranger than fiction and grimly gripping stuff. MH
TV highlights - Telegraph

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