Chances were, John Luckadoo wouldn’t make it back. “Lucky” needed to complete 25 bombing runs before going home or taking another assignment. Most bomber crew members only accomplished ten missions before being wounded, shot down, or killed.
Lucky’s original crew completed the required number of missions before he did, so he had to make his last few flights as the senior man with an unfamiliar crew. This made the odds of Lucky completing all 25 missions even steeper.
Lucky’s memoir, written by Kevin Maurer, explores the relationship dynamics of B-17 bomber crews, as well as Lucky’s personal fears and loss of faith.
Lucky and his boyhood friend dreamed of being fighter pilots. His friend enlisted first, joining the Canadian RAF before America’s official involvement in World War II. Lucky enlisted after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and then almost washed out in his quest to become a pilot. On the brink of failure, Lucky got the backing of a patient instructor, and Lucky found the confidence to complete the qualification requirements. This instructor would again figure prominently in Lucky’s life.
Lucky dealt with a cowardly leader who thrust him into harm’s way, and experienced red tape that stymied him in the progress toward his goals. Lucky also experienced devastating loss, and so avoided becoming too close to the men he worked with.
At times, the text has more tell than show, conveying facts and setting up for snippets of dialogue. But if you enjoy military memoirs, you’ll like Lucky’s story.
Thanks to #NetGalley for the #ARC!
Now available for pre-order on Amazon.
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