The Lucky Seven

One airman’s remarkable true wartime story of escape and evasion from German-occupied Europe, and the brave résistance fighters who delivered him to freedom.

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Pub Date 1 Jun 2023 | Archive Date 31 May 2024


During the early afternoon hours of April 24, 1944, Second Lieutenant James J. Goebel, Jr. finds himself floating alone toward the war-torn Belgian landscape below. What was his safe passage home, his B-24 Liberator, is now engulfed in flames and hurls to the ground only to report back with a distant thud upon the earth. Just moments earlier, the B-24 and its crew of ten were en route back to England after their inaugural bombing mission and the successful pounding of the Nazi war machine. At the hand of sheer randomness and bad luck, an enemy fighter selected their heavy bomber for retribution from the 230 B-24s dispatched earlier that morning.

Forced to jump for their lives, Goebel and his fellow crew members were now scattered along the Belgium countryside. Soon to be a downed airmen in a hostile enemy occupied territory, the odds of survival are against him. With two men running toward his drifting canopy, Goebel fears he may never see home again.

The Lucky Seven is a gripping true story of escape, evasion and résistance.

During the early afternoon hours of April 24, 1944, Second Lieutenant James J. Goebel, Jr. finds himself floating alone toward the war-torn Belgian landscape below. What was his safe passage home...

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ISBN 9781736220351
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Average rating from 13 members

Featured Reviews

Completed! Highly recommended. Plan to purchase for my local library and to recommend to my non-fiction local book club.

At 71% … several times I’ve read passages aloud to my hubby with the exclamation … “if this were a novel I would never believe it!” Tomorrow is my non-fiction book club night, so anxious to talk to the librarian about this book. This is a MIST READ! Absolutely fabulous. This book needs more media attention!

36% and will provide updates as I continue to finish The Lucky Seven. If you are looking for a non-fiction book that is better than fiction, look no further. This one is very, very well written and well researched. (I've never gone back and forth between notes - in the back - and the text because I don't want to miss a thing.) The author/Norman Holden is the son-in-law to the late James J. Goebel Jr; he makes this book so interesting. I'm really shocked that their are only a handful of reviews for this book; which was released about 6 months ago. All the details really enhance this book, the route of the team going from US to Germany through Brazil and Africa (and the care around neutral Ireland) is something I was unaware. The US Airmen were getting into it (Goebel connected with the airman - shot down less than two weeks earlier - who previously occupied his bunk, without considering the danger they were putting their rescuers in. Had this detail been in a novel, I would not have believed it. This book reminds me of the Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. Ok, back to the book.

Thank you to NetGalley for (yet once again) introducing me to a "new to me author"; I'll try to get to another Holden book once I can get my TBR list under control. Thank you to NetGalley and publisher NWH Holdings, LLC for approving my request to read the advance read copy in exchange for an honest review.

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An inspirational novel about the trials of avoiding capture and escaping from occupied Europe by US and British pilots in WW2. The story will hold your attention and you will find it hard to put down this book. I found it to be a quick and enjoyable read. A great story and book!

Thank you to #NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

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A compelling read - the story gripped me from the very begininng. I felt as though I was descending myself via parachute into WW2 Belgium. The pace of the story is brisk enough and there is plenty of factual references to keep track of.
I quite enjoyed the additonal information at the end of the book, a small appendices of sorts which only served to further my curiousity about the 445th Bomb group.
What a tribute to the real men who sacrificed much and spoke little of their navigations of the machinations of war.

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An important, extremely detailed, moving account of an U.S. Army Air Forces pilot's harrowing experiences during World War II. On April 24, 1944, Second Lieutenant James J. Goebel, Jr. was shot down over Belgium after a successful B-24 bombing raid .

Goebel and his crew jumped for their lives, and what followed is a harrowing---and amazingly successful---evasion of Nazi patrols. The author is a son-in-law of Lt. Goebel, and he had access to detailed documentation. A must-read account that I am sure will be made into a movie! I don't see how it can't be.

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