Read Soul Survivor Online

Authors: Andrea Leininger,Andrea Leininger,Bruce Leininger

Tags: #OCC022000

Soul Survivor

Copyright © 2009 by Andrea Leininger and Bruce Leininger

All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced,
distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written
permission of the publisher.

Grand Central Publishing

Hachette Book Group

237 Park Avenue

New York, NY 10017

Visit our website at

First eBook Edition: June 2009

Grand Central Publishing is a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

The Grand Central Publishing name and logo is a trademark of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

ISBN: 978-0-446-55084-0





PART ONE: The Dream















PART TWO: The Ship









PART THREE: The Men of Natoma Bay













Dedicated to
Natoma Bay
CVE-62, ship’s company, squadrons VC-63, VC-81, VC-9, and the men who gave their lives for our freedom:

Ruben Iven Goranson, February 7, 1944, TBM Pilot, Ensign, VC-63

Eldon R. Bailey, February 7, 1944 TBM Aviation Ordnanceman, 3rd class, VC-63

Edward B. Barron, February 7, 1944, TBM Aviation Radioman, 2nd class, VC-63

Edmund Randolph Lange, April 14, 1944, FM-2 Pilot, Lt. (junior grade), VC-63

Adrian Chavannes Hunter, October 19, 1944, FM-2 Pilot, Lt., VC-81

Leon Stevens Conner, October 25, 1944, TBM Pilot, Lt. (junior grade), VC-81

Donald “E” Bullis, October 25, 1944, TBM Aviation Radioman, 3rd class,VC-81

Louis King Hill, October 25, 1944, TBM Aviation Machinist Mate, 2nd class, VC-81

Edward J. Schrambeck, October 26, 1944, TBM Aviation Radioman, 3rd class, VC-81

Walter John Devlin, October 26, 1944, FM-2 Pilot, Ensign, VC-81

Billie Rufus Peeler, November 17, 1944, FM-2 Pilot, Ensign, VC-81

Lloyd Sumner Holton, November 17, 1944, Engineering Officer, Ensign, VC-81

George Hunter Neese, January 6, 1945, TBM Aviation Machinist Mate, 3rd Class, VC-81

John Frances Sargent Jr., January 6, 1945, FM-2 Pilot, Lt. (junior grade), VC-81

James McCready Huston Jr., March 3, 1945, FM-2 Pilot, Lt. (junior grade), VC-81

Peter Hamilton Hazard, March 27, 1945, TBM Pilot, Lt. (junior grade), VC-9

William Patrick Bird, March 27, 1945, TBM Aviation Radioman, 1st class, VC-9

Clarence Edward Davis, March 27, 1945, TBM Aviation Ordnanceman, 1st class, VC-9

Richard Emery Quack, April 9, 1945, FM-2 Pilot, Ensign, VC-9

Robert William Washburg, April 9, 1945, FM-2 Pilot, Ensign VC-9

Loraine Alexander Sandberg, June 7, 1945, Ship’s company, Lt. (junior Grade)


Having never attempted to write a book before, nothing could have prepared us for the sheer volume of work that goes into
such a venture.
Soul Survivor
is the culmination of four years of research, tens of thousands of miles of travel, and over a year of writing, and none
of this could have been accomplished without the help of some very special people. We would like to acknowledge and extend
our heartfelt gratitude to those who have made the completion of
Soul Survivor

Al Zuckerman and Writers House: Your expertise, guidance, and support throughout this process have been invaluable. Thank
you for leading us through this complicated process and for protecting our best interests every step of the way.

Ken Gross: Your ability to combine our version of events and spin them into a captivating and compelling narrative is a true
testament to your amazing gift and undeniable talent. This year was an amazing roller coaster of emotions, temperaments, and
uncontrolled laughter. We will fondly remember this experience all the days of our lives.

Carol Bowman: Your amazing book
Children’s Past Lives
ignited our journey into unraveling James’s nightmares, and it led to a long and wonderful friendship. Thank you for remaining
available for support and advice, for your beautifully written foreword, and for putting us in the extremely capable hands
of Al Zuckerman.

Natalie Kaire and Grand Central Publishing: for taking a chance on two unknown authors, and explaining everything we never
knew about the publishing world.

Anne Huston Barron: for not hanging up on us the night we told you about James’s memories, and for welcoming all of us into
your life. We are so blessed to have been able to share this experience with you.

Bobbi Scoggin, Jennifer Cowin, and Becky Kyle—“The Panel”: for the thousands of phone calls, endless investigating, researching,
troubleshooting, evaluating, and fact-finding. This book would not have been possible without the Scoggin girls’ “need to
know everything” approach to life’s mysteries.

John Dewitt: for providing us with all the videotapes, documents, photos, microfilm, logbooks, and countless other pieces
of information about
Natoma Bay
, which established the foundation for the research that verified James’s memories.

Al Alcorn, Leo Pyatt, and the members of the
Natoma Bay
Association: for your continuous support and tireless efforts in encouraging our research and embracing both our family and
James’s story.
Natoma Bay
and the men who served aboard her will not be forgotten. We cherish our memories of each of you and the special place that
you occupy in our hearts.

We would like to extend a special thank-you to the families of the twenty-one men killed in service aboard
Natoma Bay
. By sharing your stories, photos, cherished personal documents, letters, and personal artifacts, these men came to life again
for both us and the readers of
Soul Survivor
. Their sacrifice to preserve our freedom is one for which we are eternally thankful. Each of them were special men whom we
have come to know and admire through your thoughtful efforts. We are not finished telling their stories.

Lastly, our son, James Leininger: Thank you for choosing us, and for leading us on such an amazing and unexpected journey.
We hope you always have the courage of conviction to speak out about what you are experiencing, and to trust what you know
is true in your heart—even when others around you may be in doubt. We love you and remain in awe of your amazing spirit and
tender heart.


he story of James Leininger is the best American case of a child’s past life memory among the thousands I’ve encountered.
It’s extraordinary because little James remembers names and places from his past life that can be traced to real people and
actual events—facts that can easily be verified. He was even reunited with people who knew him in his former life as a World
War II pilot.

I believe this is the story that finally will open the minds of skeptical Westerners to the reality of children’s past life
memories. This book demonstrates how these memories can have profound emotional and spiritual benefits for both the child
and family.

In some ways, James’s story is not unusual. Many children all over the world have past life memories. It’s a natural phenomenon.
I know this because I began collecting and researching these cases more than twenty years ago after my own two children had
their own vivid past life memories. My son remembered dying on a Civil War battlefield; my daughter remembered dying as a
child in a house fire. I was astonished when I observed that just by talking about their memories they were both cured of
phobias stemming from their past life deaths.

Surely, I concluded, this had happened to other families, too. But when I searched through books to understand what was going
on with my children, I couldn’t find any that addressed the healing effects of children’s past life memories, only books about
adults being helped through past life regression therapy. I decided to fill in the gap and wrote
Children’s Past Lives
as a guidebook for parents who encounter such memories in their own children.

After its publication in 1997 and the launch of my Web site,
, I received thousands of e-mails from parents whose young children had had or were having spontaneous past life memories.
With so many cases, I began to see recurring patterns in the phenomenon. Some children begin to speak of these memories as
soon as they can talk—some still in diapers! They surprise their parents with comments such as “When I was big before,” or
“When I died before.” Or they exhibit unusual behaviors: phobias, nightmares, unlearned talents and perplexing abilities,
or uncanny insight into adult affairs they couldn’t possibly know about in their only two or three years of life. Some memories
manifest as strong emotions, such as profound sadness as they recount lonely deaths on battlefields, fond memories of a particular
horse, or longing for their other families, their wives, husbands, their

The cases that came to me were rich in drama, full of amazement and compelling emotions. But one thing was lacking: facts
that could be verified, that offered objective proof that the memories were real. My children—and none of the other children
whose memories I investigated—could remember their former names, or where they had lived, or any other hard facts that could
be validated. That’s why this compelling story of James Leininger is so unusual.

But it is not unique. There is a large body of such verified cases in young children in
cultures. Dr. Ian Stevenson, former head of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Virginia Medical School, researched
children’s spontaneous past life recall for forty years, beginning in the early 1960s. By his death in 2007, he had rigorously
investigated and meticulously documented nearly 3,000 cases, mostly in Asia. Some 700 of these young children, usually under
five, had such vivid past life recall that they remembered their former names, where they had lived, the names of relatives,
and very specific yet mundane details of their former lives, details that Dr. Stevenson proves they couldn’t have known. Dr.
Stevenson matched each child’s statements, behaviors, personality quirks, and even physical attributes (he wrote an entire
work on birthmarks and birth defects relating to past lives) to the facts of the actual person the child remembered being.
The similarities go far beyond mere chance or coincidence.

But the great majority of his cases are from cultures in which reincarnation is a dominant belief: India, Burma, Thailand,
Sri Lanka, Turkey, Lebanon, and West Africa. This makes it easier for skeptics to dismiss his findings, no matter how rigorous
his proof, because these cultures
already believe
in reincarnation. I knew it would take a highly detailed and verifiable case from a Judeo-Christian family to open Western
minds to this reality. But neither Dr. Stevenson, his international colleagues, or I had ever found any American or European
cases as richly detailed as the Asian cases. This was puzzling, and more than a little frustrating.

Then in 2001, I got an e-mail from Andrea Leininger. At first glance, it was like many others. Her son, James, suffered from
severe, recurring nightmares of his plane crashing. The two-year-old was also obsessed with airplanes and seemed to have an
uncanny knowledge of World War II planes. As I read her e-mail, I noticed facts that fit a pattern I had often seen: nightmares
of events a child couldn’t possibly have experienced in his two or three short years of life, and an interest or an obsession
relating to the content of his nightmare.

We exchanged e-mails, and I was impressed with Andrea’s insights. I got the feeling that she and her husband, Bruce, were
down-to-earth, educated people who were wrestling to understand what was happening to their precious toddler. They were desperate
for a way to help ease the terrifying nightmares that were disrupting all their lives. I was particularly intrigued by James’s
extensive knowledge of airplanes, facts that even his parents didn’t know.

Other books

Deed of Murder by Cora Harrison
Landed Gently by Alan Hunter
Nicole Kidman: A Kind of Life by James L. Dickerson
Catch Me by Lorelie Brown
The Night Lives On by Walter Lord
His Secret Desire by Alana Davis
Homesickness by Murray Bail
Vanished by Sheela Chari
Song for Night by Chris Abani
Pleasing the Dead by Deborah Turrell Atkinson Copyright 2016 - 2023