It’s February 1942. The Japanese invasion of Timor has begun and plans to evacuate a group of 29 Australian airmen charged with keeping an airstrip operational until the last moment have been thwarted.
Under the leadership of a 24-year-old meteorological officer, the airmen make for remote jungle along the north-west coast of Timor, but all attempts to rescue the group fail.
Starving, their bodies racked with malaria and dysentery and covered in tropical ulcers, the men are driven to the limits of their endurance over 58 days.
Eight of the men are on the brink of death and a 300-strong Japanese patrol has been sent to hunt them down.
All hope seems lost, until they receive a strange signal from the sea – an American submarine has been dispatched to their position, but first they have to get to it.