Cover image for The escape factory : the story of MIS-X
The escape factory : the story of MIS-X
Shoemaker, Lloyd R.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's, 1990.
Physical Description:
xiv, 267 pages ; 22 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
D810.S7 S46 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
D810.S7 S46 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
D810.S7 S46 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Reviews 3

Booklist Review

This volume tells the story of MIS-X, a supersecret organization that was responsible for overseeing and supervising all escape attempts by American POWs in Nazi prison camps. How secret was it? Well, Congress didn't know that it existed, and neither did most of America's military leaders. But Shoemaker did--he was one of its most important operatives. He's also one of only four MIS-X operatives still alive. Writing in the third person, he recounts how he and his colleagues managed to have all sorts of items (radios, maps, cameras, etc.) smuggled into the German camps for use by would-be escapees. He also covers the breakouts these efforts facilitated. In so doing, he provides aficionados of the POW subgenre of military history with an engrossing new addition to the written record of the subject. Notes, bibliography; to be indexed. --Steve Weingartner

Publisher's Weekly Review

MIS-X was a secret agency of the U.S. WW II War Department assigned to supply ``escape aids'' to American POWs in Europe. Working with a counterpart British agency, MIS-X also coordinated escape routes. Shoemaker describes how Allied prisoners of war made use of the items provided by the ``escape factory,'' but the most absorbing sections of the book reveal how maps, compasses, radios and other items were hidden inside softballs, bats, ping pong paddles, playing cards, packs of cigarettes and other objects, and smuggled into the stalags. A corporal at the time, Shoemaker was involved in the operation. One of his tasks was to obtain assistance of manufacturing firms in inserting escape aids into their products. A highly entertaining story about a unique wartime operation. Photos. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

In MI-9: Escape and Evasion 1939-1945 ( LJ 11/1/80), M.R.D. Foot and J.M. Langley told how captured British servicemen were helped to resist and escape from POW camps. Shoemaker aptly describes America's counterpart effort, MIS-X, to supply prisoners with the means to escape from German POW camps and return home. Nearly all of MIS-X's materials and files were ordered destroyed at war's end. However, Shoemaker is able to tell much of the story from his own work with the group. MIS-X managed to get food, clothes, tools, radios, paper, and printing equipment to prisoners in Europe. Some flyers had learned a code to use in their letters home if captured and were able to provide useful information to U.S. officials. Well written and likely to be enjoyed by layperson or specialist.-- George H. Siehl, Library of Congress (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.