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Luck of the Draw by Frank Murphy

Type: Books & Media
Price: $29.95


Luck of the Draw - My Story of the Air War in Europe by Frank Murphy 

Softcover edition, 454 pages updated with new material and photos, plus updated historical appendices by Paul M. Andrews

New forward by Elizabeth Murphy and Granddaughter Chloe Melas

The epic true story of an American hero who flew during WWII, soon to be featured in the upcoming Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks TV Series, Masters of the Air. Beginning on August 17, 1942, American heavy bomber crews of the Eighth Air Force 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 were taken prisoner or interned in a neutral country, and a further 17,650 made the ultimate sacrifice.

As he hung in his parachute, surrounded by enemy fighters, Captain Frank Murphy prayed for death!

A Navigator in the 100th Bomb Group, Murphy had survived one of the greatest air battles of World War II, the “Double Strike” mission on Regensburg and Schweinfurt on Aug 17, 1943. Now on his 21st mission, he was watching the "the Bloody Hundredth" get decimated over Munster, his life hanging in the balance, floating down into enemy territory and an unknown fate.  Gone were all hopes of completing his 25 missions and heading home.

Luck of the Draw is the dramatic first-hand account of aerial combat in a Flying Fortress B-17 as part of the “Mighty Eighth” in 1943 when the Luftwaffe ruled the skies. This book takes the reader from Murphy's tranquil childhood in Atlanta to his endurance as a Prisoner of War in Stalag Luft III and on the Winter Death March to Moosburg, where he was eventually liberated by Patton’s 3rd Army. This is a “no holds barred” account of life and death in the skies over Hitler’s Fortress Europe.  After only eight missions, combat airmen were on borrowed time!  Luck of the Draw gives you Frank Murphy’s view from the navigator's table - a story of overcoming fear, surrounded by death and fighting for survival five miles high. Shot down and imprisoned “behind the wire" for 19 months, he was a survivor.

Luck of the Draw is one of those "must read" books on the 100th Bomb Group! --Michael Faley, 100th Bomb Group Historian


"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


Luck of the Draw is more than a war story. It's the incredible, inspiring story of Frank Murphy, one of the few survivors from the 100th Bombardment Group, who cheated death for months in a German POW camp after being shot out of his B-17 Flying Fortress. Now with a new foreword written by his granddaughter Chloe Melas, of CNN, and daughter Elizabeth Murphy. "A gripping, inspirational account of incredible bravery, resilience, and sheer will to survive. A truly extraordinary story!" --General David Petraeus, U.S. Army (Ret.)

Frank Murphy survived months in a German POW camp after being shot out of his B-17 Flying Fortress. His bravery earned him the Distinguished Flying Cross, 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.