Cover Image: Luck of the Draw

Luck of the Draw

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Member Reviews

Joining an impressive genre of war memoirs from veterans who saw action during WW2 ‘Luck of the Draw’ adds another fascinating account from a USAAF B17 navigator who was shot down after a relatively brief period on operations. As such, the account includes much that is not related to the few terrifying operations when he and his crew faced the might of the Luftwaffe. However, readers can be assured that the additional detail is no mere ‘padding’. Frank Murphy describes his experiences growing up in pre-war America, his lengthy training, with all its frustrations and the typical experience of being shunted around at the whim of his service superiors before eventually being posted to active service with the 100th Bomb Group at Thorpe Abbots in Norfolk. However, what sets this book apart is the painstaking collection of statistics over the fate of many of the crews, comprising mainly young men in their late teens and early twenties who were tasked with that most difficult of military operations: flying long distances through airspace where the enemy had overwhelming air superiority until the deployment of the escort fighter later in the war. The author’s account of his period in captivity offers another dimension of the wartime experience of the 28,000 USAAF airmen who became POWs. Recommended

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This very personal story of a USAAF B-17 flight engineer from his enlistment in 1941 through his training, operational flying until he bailed out of his downed B-17 into a farmer’s field near Munster, Germany. There then followed his story of captivity for the next 20 months until his release in 1945.
The very personal nature of Frank Murphy’s story makes for enthralling reading and very different from other tales of WWll. It is this viewpoint that makes the book very enjoyable to read and once again, provides another perspective to the air war in Europe during WWll.

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