Synopses & Reviews
Kevin Maurer's Damn Lucky is the incredible true story of John Lucky Luckadoo, who survived 25 missions as a B-17 Flying Fortress pilot in World War II...
The incredible true story of John Lucky Luckadoo, who survived 25 missions as a B-17 Flying Fortress pilot in WWII.
When Second Lieutenant John "Lucky" Luckadoo--a wide-eyed 21-year-old assigned to the Eighth Air Force's 100th Bomb Group--arrived in England, "Axis Sally," an American broadcaster employed by Nazi Germany to disseminate propaganda during World War II, welcomed his squadron by name.
"This isn't your war," she told them. "You don't have any business being here, but as long as you're here we're going to teach you a lesson." And they did.
Kevin Maurer's Damn Lucky tells the true story of "Lucky" Luckadoo who flew some of the deadliest missions of World War II during the bloodiest military campaign in aviation history. Lucky served with the 100th Bomber Group during the early days of the bombing of France and Germany from England. His story starts with his quest to join the Royal Air Force with his best friend before the war, through 25 missions in combat over Germany to the one mission--a raid over Bremen--where Luckadoo felt like his luck had run out.
The statistical chances for a heavy Bomber crew in Europe to be lost on a mission were 1-in-10. At a 25-mission tour of duty, statistically, once a flyer made it to 10 missions they were literally on borrowed time. Anyone who served a full tour and survived was remarkably lucky.
Drawn from Lucky's firsthand accounts, acclaimed war correspondent and bestselling author Kevin Maurer delves into this extraordinary tale, uncovering astonishing accounts of bravery during an epic clash in the skies over Nazi Germany.
From Kevin Maurer--the #1 New York Times bestselling, award-winning coauthor of No Easy Day--comes the true story of a World War II bomber pilot who survived twenty-five missions in Damn Lucky, "an epic, thrillingly written, utterly immersive account of a very lucky, incredible survivor of the war in the skies to defeat Hitler" (New York Times bestselling author Alex Kershaw).
"We were young citizen-soldiers, terribly naive and gullible about what we would be confronted with in the air war over Europe and the profound effect it would have upon every fiber of our being for the rest of our lives. We were all afraid, but it was beyond our power to quit. We volunteered for the service and, once trained and overseas, felt we had no choice but to fulfill the mission assigned. My hope is that this book honors the men with whom I served by telling the truth about what it took to climb into the cold blue and fight for our lives over and over again."
--John "Lucky" Luckadoo, Major, USAF (Ret.) 100th Bomb Group (H)
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii was a world away from John Luckadoo's hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee. But when the Japanese attacked the American naval base on December 7, 1941, he didn't hesitate to join the military. Trained as a pilot with the United States Air Force, Second Lieutenant Luckadoo was assigned to the 100th Bomb Group stationed in Thorpe Abbotts, England. Between June and October 1943, he flew B-17 Flying Fortresses over France and Germany on bombing runs devised to destroy the Nazi war machine.
With a shrapnel torn Bible in his flight jacket pocket and his girlfriend's silk stocking around his neck like a scarf as talismans, Luckadoo piloted through Luftwaffe machine-gun fire and antiaircraft flak while enduring subzero temperatures to complete twenty-five missions and his combat service. The average bomber crew rarely survived after eight to twelve missions. Knowing far too many airmen who wouldn't be returning home, Luckadoo closed off his emotions and focused on his tasks to finish his tour of duty one moment at a time, realizing his success was more about being lucky than being skilled.
Drawn from Luckadoo's firsthand accounts, acclaimed war correspondent Kevin Maurer shares his extraordinary tale from war to peacetime, uncovering astonishing feats of bravery during the bloodiest military campaign in aviation history, and presenting an incredible portrait of a young man's coming-of-age during the world's most devastating war.