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December 26, 2023 27 mins

"Wounded Tiger" is The inspiring true story of the pilot who led the attack on Pearl Harbor whose life was changed by an American POW and by a girl he never met... Though it is a work of NONfiction, Wounded Tiger reads like a novel because it is a dramatic character-driven story. It has three main plot lines and each story begins separately, but they slowly come together in an unpredictable and captivating way.

Author, T. Martin Bennett joins us today to share HIS story, and talk about how, in the darkest of times, LOVE WINS. There's no better note, or guest, to end Season 5 of LOVE SOMEONE one. Join us! ~ Delilah

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Speaker 1 (00:04):
Can you believe we've passed Christmas and soon it will
be the New Year? How did that happen? It seems
like I just finished up doing the Thanksgiving dinner dishes
and bam, it was Christmas. I vaguely remember some frenzied shopping,
some kids Christmas concerts, a few basketball games, and then

wrapping and cooking in between. But the last month it's
all a bit of a blur. I do love the holidays, though,
yes they're busy, and yes there are moments I feel
more than a little bit frantic. But the Holidays are
also filled with magic and wonder and grace and hope,
the Nativity scene, the Baby and a Manger. I still

look forward to this season year after magical year. I
still believe in the promise of that babe in the manger,
and I will never give up on the dream of
peace on earth, goodwill towards men. Neither will my guest
on the podcast today, let me read you the bio
on our guests that was sent to me. Okay, from

a young age, T Martin Bennett could be found running
from his mother in department stores and often to the unknown.
This would mark the beginning of many highs and lows,
and eventually lead T. Martin to journey around the world
to write his non fiction novel Wounded Tiger. Along the way,

T Martin attended then dropped out of college, co founded
a company that gross twenty million per year, which received
the presidential award of Entrepreneur of the Year from the
Small Business Administration, became the vice president of a successful nonprofit,
trained inmates in federal prison, and lived in poverty on

a friend's couch to research this book. T Martin Bennett
has five wonderful kids and has never lost the joy
in his life or his life in God. Martin believes
that there is a plan and purpose for each of us,
and when you find it, you run with it. Wounded
Tiger is the compelling true story of Mintsu Fuchinda, the

Japanese pilot who led the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor
and World War Two. Its author, T Martin Binnett is
with us today to share more about the story, recently
reprinted in its third edition, and how he came about
writing it. I think this conversation is a fantastic way
to wrap up Season five of Love Someone. Wounded Tiger is,

after all, an almost unbelievable story of hope that is
ultimately about how love overcomes hate. We will dig right
in with T Martin Bennett right after I share a
short story of nonfiction with you, the story of one
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ready to share with you. Dee Martin Bennett, Welcome to
our final edition of Love Someone for the year twenty
twenty three. We are going out with a roar, a

Wounded Tiger roar for our podcast season five this year,
which I think is fortuitous. I think it's appropriate that
we're talking to an author of a book about bitterness
and what compels somebody to do heinous things in war,
given where we're at in the world today and how

much we need God and love and peace on earth,
goodwill towards men. So we're going to talk about the
story of Wounded Tiger, But first I want to find
out t Martin Bennett, how you found yourself to telling
this story, how you found your way to be the
voice to bring the story of Wounded Tiger to life.

Speaker 2 (05:18):
Delilah, thanks for having me on your show. It's a
great question. Before I answer, I just want to say
thank you for your show. I remember years in the
past being really kind of distraught about my life situation
and hearing your show and how you interview people about
their songs, why they like them. You just were very
personable and I really really appreciate it immensely. So when

we started this campaign, I said, listen, I want to
get on Deliah. I said, well, she's pretty difficult to do.
So when we got this, I thought, man, I'm really
really happy because I really really do like your show.
I think you make a positive impact on the world,
and I appreciate it.

Speaker 1 (05:52):
Thank you, Thank you. We need we need positivity right now.
It seems like I can't listen to most media because
it is so divisive and so agenda driven. And here
on the Delilah Show and on Love, someone got we
have no My only agenda is to share love and

be light in a very dark world.

Speaker 2 (06:15):
Yeah, that's beautiful and that's good connection. So in a
world today where there's fighting in war and killing and
death and which has been going on since the dawn
of the history of mankind, Wounded Tiger is a story
of hatred turned to love and war turned to peace,
and how the leader of the attack on Pearl Harbor
who despised Americans, how his heart changed and his life changed.

And also a guy named Jake Deschazer who was on
a bombing run against the Japanese. He became a prisoner
of war, was in solitary confinement for forty months, tortured, debt,
thrived in solitary confinement, eating the worst of the worst food,
sick on the point of death. And he said in
his own words, he was crazy with hatred toward the Japanese.

So here we have two people who hate it and
despise each other at the highest levels possible, and were
actively killing people of the other nation. And yet this
story as it develops, their lives turn around one hundred percent.
So when people see wars and killing in death, nobody
has any solutions. There are no solutions, at least that

doesn't look like it. So what Wounded Tiger is, it's
not telling you what to do. It's a demonstration of
what happened in their lives. And for that reason, it's
very positive and very encouraging. There is hope.

Speaker 1 (07:31):
And how did you find your way to the story.
I read your bio. I wouldn't imagine somebody with your
bio would would take it upon themselves to delve into
and literally you wrapped yourself up in the cloak of
this this heartbreaking story from the war, and wore it

until you wore it out, until you came out on
the other side and telling the story. How did did
you find? How did that happen?

Speaker 2 (08:02):
Well? First of all, I love history. I love true stories.
When I was in grade school, I read biographies. I
love true stories, documentaries, movies, whatever, fast forward. I worked
for years on a screenplay on the life of John Newton,
who wrote the song Amazing Grace. He was a slave
trader in the seventeen hundreds. His life story is absolutely
mind boggling. He almost died on like twenty five occasions.

And so I finished that. I'm extremely committed to doing
that as a film. I met with a producer three
months ago, and we're going to do this. But what
happened with this story of Wounded Tiger and the life
of Mitsuo Fuchia is that I came across a used
book from a defunct publisher about this guy's life and Delilah.
I have a pretty good working knowledge of World War
two in the Pacific War, and I know a lot

of redemption stories. I never heard anything about this guy's life,
so I have very low expectations. But as I started
studying his life.

Speaker 1 (08:54):
Okay, wait, back up, back up, back up, back up,
because I'm seeing in my mind's eye you stumbling upon
this book right like did a light go off and
angels sing and say you must read this? Or were
you just like whoa funky old dusty books?

Speaker 2 (09:12):
Because I'm curious about them and with his story, I
was just curious about his story. But once I started
getting into it, to be extremely honest, Elilah, I remember
exactly where I was sitting. I was sitting in a
folding chair in a barn and a stable that is
my daughter was riding horses. I could smell the hay,
hear the sparrows chirping. And as I'm studying this book,
I said, God, are you telling me to do this

as a movie because this would be a absolutely epic, compelling,
cinematic story. I mean, this is just has everything to
make a great film. So as I started praying that
before I could finish it, I really sense the Lord
said Martin, get it done, just do it, And I thought,
oh wow, this is going to be difficult because I
don't know a lot about Japanese history. I don't know

the Japanese side. So we all know the Pearl Harbor attack,
and we know that the Allied troops we want in
the war, but we don't really know what was going
on in Japan, what motivated them. So that's how I
came into the story, and once I had that sense
of a mandate to get it done, rolled up my
sleeves and I spent three years reading thousands and thousands
of pages of primary source documents, secondary source documents, meeting

with experts, meeting with family members, corresponding, doing everything I
could to figure out what this story was all about.
And a funny thing in doing this, Jalilah, is that
I would dig through piles of dirt, so to speak,
information that's useless, and then you come across these gold nuggets.
So you've got to be kidding me. You have got
to be kidding me. So there's many things in this

story that are, however you want to call it, providential, circumstantial, supernatural.
They're like, how in the world did this happen? And
that's one of the things that's really fun about this story.
It also has a very very positive ending in a
story where there's a lot of death and killing and
torture and you're thinking, how can this ever end? Well?
But it does?

Speaker 1 (10:58):
Anna are we going to get to know how it
does in this interview or are we going to just
dangle that little I mean, I know because I read
I read all the synopsis of it. But I kind
of think our listeners need to get the book or
wait for the movie.

Speaker 2 (11:13):
But well, my job is to set up the story,
but not to spoil the story. Nobody wants to spoiler
if they're going to read the book or watch the movies.
So there are three plot lines in this story. Mitsu
Puchita was handpicked by Amil Yamamoto to lead the Pearl
Harbor attack and the Midway attack. He was all over
the war in all the key places, and he was

driven by selfish ambition and by national ambition. He wanted
to be a rock star in the military. I mean,
that's that's a cool position where everybody thinks you're cool.

Speaker 1 (11:41):
And according to you, he hated hated us like.

Speaker 2 (11:47):
He despised America. And when he bombed Pearl Harvard, he
considered the happiest day of his life. He thought Americans
were arrogant and he didn't want to have anything to
do with him. So that's that's only half of the story.
That's about fifty percent of the story. Then thirty percent
of his goy named Jake Deschaser. He's an American who
couldn't get a job. Tried a bunch of different things
and nothing worked out. So he joined the Army. Not uncommon,

he ended up volunteering for the US Army Air Corps,
which was the precursor of the Air Force. And after
the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, well, he was just like
every red blooded American, I turned me loose, I'm going
to help kill Japanese. I just want revenge. So he
volunteered on a mission to bomb Japan that was the
Doolotle Rate in April nineteen forty two, but his plane

ran out of fuel. He bails out over occupied China.
He becomes a prisoner war and it's actual, I mean,
it just was hell on earth. Torture, deprivation, his buddy's
getting shot, another guy dying from exposure. It was hell
on Earth. And he realized that. In his own words,
he said he was crazy with hatred and he didn't
want to live that way, and he remembered his mom.

So this is really a shout out to all the
moms are out there. You don't realize how powerful a
position you're in until you see the impact on your
son our daughters when they're in a place where they
need hope and they remember their mother. And that's what
happened with Jake Deschazer. He knew she was a good
and godly woman, and they started seeking God and then
supernatural things started happening. They're really quite unbelievable and very encouraging.

So that's the two plot lines. Then the third plot
line are the Covel family. There are teachers who are
highly educated in the Chicago area. They traveled to Japan,
they had their kids there. They loved the Japanese people.
They did missions work. They helped the poorest of the poor.
But when the country was ramping up for war, it
was not a welcome place for Americans. So they fled

to the Philippines, where they got a job teaching at
a university, and they sent their kids back to the
United States. So that's the setup of these three plot lines.
They really had nothing to do with each other. But slowly,
one click at a time, they start getting closer and
closer to each other. And the key part of the
entire story of Wounded Tiger is a young lady named
Peggy Covel. She was the fulcrum of change and she

was thousands of miles away from him. And how this
happens and why it happens is like odds were millions
to one that this would happen. If this were a
fictional story, Deliah, it would not be any good because
people say, Martin, that's just too far out. But it's
a true story. It really did happen, and that's part
of what makes it really really exciting and compelling.

Speaker 1 (14:16):
I can't wait. I can't wait for it to be
on the big screen.

Speaker 2 (14:20):
Well, I am working towards that. I wrote the screenplay first,
then I novelized a book for him. A couple of
years ago, I was contacted by Gabe Bidella, the producer
of Hacksaw Ridge. She said, what's going on with the movie.
I told him that I received offers, but they were
all secular and they want a full creative control. And
the last thing I wanted was, you know, Jesus turning
into higher power, sex scenes and all that kind of stuff.

I thought, I can't do that, so it's a deal breaker.
I needed to be able to protect the integrity of
the story. I'm not doing it for the money. I
turned out a lot of money to just protect the story.
So he said, Martin, get the book to the top
of the charts. That's when the investors will come to you.
So we have an investor. We're doing a national campaign.
But as a footnote to all this, about two months ago,
six weeks ago, and attorney contacted me. He said, Martin,

I'm very close friends with a billionaire. I think you
would like to come in on this project. Please send
me an executive summary. So I expect that that will
happen one hundred percent and people will get to see
it on the big screen. This is not about bonds,
planes and ships. It's a character driven story. The majority
of the readers are females, and a lot of people
are not religious in any way, shape or form. And
they've told me with tears in their eyes, Wow, amazing. Story.

Really hit me hard.

Speaker 1 (15:28):
All because you found an old book. Yeah, I mean
out of Red Book, and.

Speaker 2 (15:34):
That's by another guy. Recently, he said, Martin how is
it the world doesn't know this story? That's a good question.
I think this is the greatest story of all of
World War two. I've had many people tell me it
was the best story they'd ever read in their life.
If you go to Amazon right now and look at
Wonda Tiger, one of the reviews says, this might be
the most extraordinary story I've ever read in my life,

and other similar reviews like that. So I'm not saying
I'm a good writer. I'm saying this is a me
true story. I did my best to do justice to
the story.

Speaker 1 (16:09):
And this is the third publication. I understand there's pictures
in here that have never been never been published before.
How did you find them?

Speaker 2 (16:17):
Right? So I self published the first two editions and
this one has over three hundred photos, images, maps, letters.
That really brings to life that these are real people.
And when people read the book, they just tell me, Martin,
I felt like I was there while these things were happening.
So that's what I wanted. I wanted a very immersive,
engaging experience. Another thing I did with this book, Delia,

that's very unusual is although it's a true story, I
did not write it in the format of nonfiction. I
wrote it in the format of fiction because fiction is dynamic,
but it's a true story. This is what Truman Capoti
did for the book in Cold Blood, It's what Michael
Chera did for the book Gettysburg, And that's what I
felt was the best format for this book. It reads
like a novel because it is a novel, but it's

true amazing.

Speaker 1 (17:03):
So basically, what you're saying is your true gift is
the gift of storytelling.

Speaker 2 (17:09):
Yeah. I believe so.

Speaker 1 (17:10):
And unlike me, you stick to the facts.

Speaker 2 (17:14):
Well, I mean I.

Speaker 1 (17:17):
Never let the facts get in the way of a
good story, not on purpose. It's not like I'm a
purposeful liar. I just can't remember anything anymore.

Speaker 2 (17:24):
Well, believe me, I cannot remember everything either. I do
not have photographic memory. I had to look things up
over and over and over to make sure these things
are right. Because the last thing I wanted was somebody say, Martin,
what are you saying this for? That never happened. I
couldn't have that happen. So we checked, rechecked, triple checked
so many of these things. One thing that happened was
Puchita was in Hiroshima as in a big conference where

they're preparing to defend the Japan from the onslaught of
the American invasion, which they believe was imminent. So while
he's at this meeting in Hiroshima, he gets a phone
call to go to another airbase. They said that we
want to talk to you now, we need you now.
He leaves. The next day the bombas dropped on Hiroshima.
His hotel is vaporized, ninety thousand people killed. The next

day he comes back to Hiroshima on a search party
to find out what happened, what kind of bomb it was,
and he spent three days walking around in radioactive rubble.
A month later, almost everybody on a search party is
dying of radiation sickness, but nothing happened to him, and
he started thinking, why am I not dead? What is
happening in my life? And that's when he started coming
across the story of Jake Dechezer and Peggy Kovell, and

these plotlines come together, and what Peggy did, without giving
away the story, is even though her parents are being
mistreated by the Japanese in the Philippines, she looked for
a way to love her enemies and she volunteered ultimately
at a pow hospital in Utah where she was waiting
on Japanese soldiers who were injured amputees mostly, and they

described her as an angel who just did nothing but
good things for her and they want to know, why
are you treating us so nicely? They thought maybe someone
in Japan had done something really wonderful for her. When
she found out that her parents had been persecuted by
the Japanese, they were horrified. And this story got back
to Fuchiita, and he asked the guy who told him,

why wouldn't she take revenge? Why would you love your enemies?
That doesn't make any sense to me. And later he
asked the question where does this love come from? He
wasn't seeking God, he wasn't seeking religion. He was just
seeking what's true. And that's really what led to the
change of his life, which is quite beautiful. If you
seek the truth and you're going to live according to it,
your life will change. And that's what happened to Fucheta,

and that's what will happen to you as well.

Speaker 1 (19:40):
Amen. Amen. T Martin Bennett, the author of the fascinating
book Wounded Tiger, has been spending time here with us today.
We haven't covered everything I want to ask him just yet,
but I want to pause our conversation for a moment
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look and feel your best. Well, thank you for being

here with us today. Thank you for saying yes, saying yes.
I cannot tell you how many times I've had a
thought in my mind I should do this, I should
do that, but then life gets in the way, you know,
and kids and responsibilities and my job and stuff like that.
Thank you for saying yes to that voice that said,

do this, write this, make this, you know, bring this
story to life.

Speaker 2 (21:52):
Well, it's my pleasure to encourage people. I want people
to see how dark and hopeless the situation was for
many of the people in the story, and yet God
found a way to show them a way to live
that actually is a very happy ending. The end of
this book has a series of happy endings that are
just mind blowing. How in the world could this possibly happen?

But it does, and I want people to be encouraged
by that. It's a story of hope. It's a story
of inspiration.

Speaker 1 (22:17):
What if somehow we could wave a magic wand and
open people's eyes to the power of love.

Speaker 2 (22:25):
Well, the thing about Wounded Tiger is that it's authentic.
It's not contrived, and in a world full of, like
I said, hatred, killing and death, it's a story of
transformation from that lifestyle of hatred, killing, in death to love,
life and peace. How it happens and watching it play
out in front of our eyes is both fascinating and encouraging.

There is an answer and the world needs to know it.
So I tell people, don't take my word for it.
You can read the first chapters free at woundtiger dot
com and see what you think on your own.

Speaker 1 (22:58):
Oh that's a good idea, so wounded dot com folks
should go there, get a little taste like a you
know how in the ice cream parlor do they just
give you that teeny tiny little spoon and you're like,
what that's not I can't even really taste that. But
you can read the first first few pages.

Speaker 2 (23:15):
But of course, to be honest, I have ulterior motives here.
I have had many people tell me right to my
face Martin, I don't read books that are six hundred
pages long. I said, you don't need to read the book,
just read ten pages and then I'll get the email
two days later, Martin. I was at page one forty
when I remember it, I was only going to read
ten pages. And I've seen it happen over and over.
It just does. It pulls you in and it's a
fun ride. It's an interesting ride. You're going to learn

something and you're going to be challenged to be a
better person.

Speaker 1 (23:40):
Do people really get intimidated by the number of pages?

Speaker 2 (23:44):
Yes, mostly men. To be honest, I've had many men
when I'll pull the book out of my bag and
sit on table, they go, WHOA, I do not read
fat books, and they just plat on tell me. But
I had a woman, a podcaster, said Martin, I'm going
to do the interview with you, but there's no way
I'm going to read this book. I said, you don't
need to read it, just flipped through a couple places,
just read a little bit here and there. You'd look fine.
She said, great, but I'm not reading the book. Two

days before the interview, she said, Martin, I sat down
on Saturday morning and started reading this book. And I
read and read and read until the sun went down.
I finished the book in one session. This is the
most incredible story I've ever read.

Speaker 1 (24:18):
Well, because I just got the opportunity to interview you,
I would have probably done the same thing, except my
podcast producer just came to me and said, can you
make yourself available? This sounds fascinating, and so here I am.

Speaker 2 (24:34):
Well. It's a great way to start twenty twenty four
with hope.

Speaker 1 (24:37):
Amen. We need that. We need all the hope, all
the light, all the love we can pour into the world.
So keep writing, keep sharing, and I'll keep trying to
do the same thing on the radio.

Speaker 2 (24:48):
Thank you so much. We're working on getting the film made. Delilah.
Thank you for encouraging so many people over the years,
and I pray that you will do the same into
the future. Amen.

Speaker 1 (24:57):
Amen, God bless you.

Speaker 2 (24:59):

Speaker 1 (25:00):
Wounded Tiger takes you on a gripping journey of history.
T Martin Bennett's attention to detail and inclusion of over
three hundred historic photographs and documents immers's readers in the story,
making them feel like eyewitnesses to history itself. The third
edition of Wounded Tiger offers new content, new information, new photographs,

some of which have never been published before. This updated
version ensures that readers have access to the most comprehensive
account of this remarkable true story. One of the best
things I think about this book is how readable it is.
The author, while staying true to historical facts, has a
remarkable storytelling skill, making the book read more like a

page turning novel. You don't want to put it down.
It's not just a boring history book. It's a fascinating story.
I can think of a better way to kick off
the new year than with a really good book. Pick
up your copy today. Wounded Tiger is the name and
extra copies for all those you know that like to
dive into compelling works of nonfiction, biography, lovers, the history

buffs in your circle That would be my sister, and
those who need a reminder that even the hardest of
hearts can be softened. As we wrap up twenty twenty three,
I want all of you to carry the message of
Wounded Tiger with you into this new year. People have
an amazing capacity for growth and resilience in the face

of adversity, and love overcomes hate always and now these
three remain faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of
these is love. Happy new Year, my friends, I hope
twenty twenty four has wonderful things in store for us all.
I'll be here to keep you company through the bright times,

through the dark times, asking you at every turn to
take the time to slow down and love of someone

Speaker 2 (27:04):
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