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March 30, 2023

Luck of the Draw: My Story of the Air War in Europe by Frank Murphy ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

“In the pursuit of authenticity, of accurate history and undeniable courage, no words matter more than, ‘I was there.’ Read Luck of the Draw and the life of Frank Murphy and ponder this: how did those boys do such things?” —Tom Hanks

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of historical nonfiction Luck of the Draw by Frank Murphy
February 2023; St. Martin's Griffin; 978-1250284150
audio, ebook, print (480 pages); memoir

I read a lot of World War II fiction and found this memoir by Frank Murphy very interesting.  I learned a lot about what really happened in the skies over Europe from this real member of the Greatest Generation.

After the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, many young American boys joined the military.  Frank Murphy was in college at the time but he signed up to be part of the new Army Air Corp.  After extensive training, he became a navigator on a B-17 Flying Fortress in the 100th Bombardment Group. He was one of the few survivors from the 100th Bombardment Group and after numerous bombing runs, his B-17 Flying Fortress was shot down over Germany and he spent months in a German POW camp.  His bravery earned him the Air Medal, the Purple Heart, and the Prisoner of War Medal. The incredible stories of Murphy and his Eighth Air Force’s 100th Bomb Group will be featured in the upcoming Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks TV series, Masters of the Air.

Frank's story of his time during the war was very interesting.  My personal problem with the book is that there was too much information about some subjects - the history of aerial warfare, the names of the planes and the pilots of every plane in the 100th bomb group, and various other lists.  This information would be very exciting for someone who had a real interest in it, but I found myself skimming through the lists to get back to Frank's personal story.   Overall, this was definitely a good read for me - I learned a lot about what actually went on during the bombing raids and it was a real treasure to learn about the life of one of the brave young boys who went to war to help save the world.  They definitely were the Greatest Generation.

Buy Luck of the Draw at Amazon

Susan Roberts grew up in Michigan but loves the laid-back life at her home in the Piedmont area of North Carolina where she is two hours from the beach to the east and the mountains in the west.  She reads almost anything but her favorite genres are Southern Fiction and Historical Fiction.  


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