Title: Damn Lucky: One Man’s Courage During the Bloodiest Military Campaign in Aviation History
Author: Kevin Maurer
Genre: WW2 History
Rating: 4 of 5
Future Release Date: April 19, 2022 (Thank you to the author and publisher for a free eARC via Netgalley. This in no way affects the content of the review)
My grandfather was the waist gunner in a B-17 during World War 2. He rarely talked about it, but after he passed away we found a certificate declaring him a member of “The Lucky Bastard Club” for surviving 25 missions over Germany. When I saw this book about a pilot (John “Lucky” Luckadoo) with the same experience I had to read it.
The overall style of the book is a bit uneven. Parts read like a relatively impersonal history book and other parts seem very informal and reads a bit like a “docudrama” in that the author seems to be filling in what his subjects “must have been thinking/feeling” (unless he’s working off amazingly detailed interviews from someone with an incredibly precise memory).
Stylistic oddity aside, I found the subject matter riveting. The author manages to give a sense of the helpless doing-my-duty-and-waiting-to-die feeling of flying repeated WW2 bombing runs. It’s truly amazing that anyone survived the “magic number” 25 missions! This is well worth a read if you are into military history.