040432 - LUCK OF THE DRAW: Reflections on the Air War in Europe
By Frank D Murphy
Formerly Captain and Navigator of the 418th Bomb Squadron, 100th Bomb Group, US 8th Air Force, Station 139, Thorpe Abbotts, Norfolk, 1943.
Beginning on August 17, 1942, American heavy bomber crews of the Eighth Air Force, with ever-increasing strength and frequency, took off for combat in the hostile skies over occupied Europe. The final price was staggering — 4,300 B-17s and B-24s failed to return; nearly 21,000 men taken prisoner or interned in a neutral country and a further 17,650 made the ultimate sacrifice.
Luck of the Draw is more than a war story. You stroll with Frank Murphy, a former navigator with the 100th Bombardment Group, through the sights and sounds of inter-war Atlanta and mingle with Emory University students on December 7, 1941, when the world changed for so many Americans. After training in the United States, you join Frank at his home away from home — England, a land most Americans then only knew from reading antiquated textbooks and Charles Dickens. You fly with Frank on combat missions, cheating death more than once and witnessing death far too often. You travel with him to Stalag Luft III, witness the Great Escape, and share the joy of liberation at the sight of a white star on a battle weary Sherman tank.
Frank Murphy has made it easier for us, who were not there, to appreciate the sacrifice and unflinching sense of duty shared by these boys of yesterday. We have a wonderful, lasting gift — to read and reread the power and honesty of Frank Murphy's prose and absorb the thoughtfulness of his insights. After finishing Luck of the Draw, you will join us in being thankful that Frank Murphy elected to fly one more mission for The Mighty Eighth.