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Trying to find a book about survival by US aircrew member

Discussion in 'WWII Books & Publications' started by philipphilip99, Aug 20, 2016.

  1. philipphilip99

    philipphilip99 New Member

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    Hello.

    I'm trying to track down a book I read several years ago, but I'm having no luck and thought this forum would be a great place to find help.

    Unfortunately, I can't remember the book's title or the author's name, but I will do my best to describe it in the hope that someone will recognise it.

    The book was written by a US veteran of WWII. It is a work of non fiction that looks at the variety of psychological responses to testing circumstances, which means that some people survive while others don't. This includes, I seem to recall, tales from lost hikers and the like.

    The author also gives a short account of his own survival during WWII, which has stayed with me and would like to use in a literary project I'm working on.

    His story goes something like this. He is a member of the aircrew of a US bomber shot down over Germany and survives a crash landing (or baling out?), but is severely injured - his life saved when his severed tongue, which is choking him, is re-positioned by a captor. As a POW, the author is treated by a German doctor who uses the strings from a musical instrument (a piano?) to stitch up his wounds. The doctor also lectures him about the actions of US bombers and the pair have philosophical debates. The author then describes how his attitude to being a prisoner - calmness, resignation and not taking things personally - helps him to recover and endure. As the months pass, he observes that his German captors are getting very jittery and starting to look as ill and ragged as himself. One morning, the guards melt away and the author spots a lone, liberating soldier walking his way and is impressed by the soldier's bearing and plentiful equipment. The soldier (a ranger?) is described as laconic (Texan perhaps?) and doesn't seem to appreciate what a momentous moment this is for the author - the soldier's matter of factness contrasting with the author's intense sense of salvation.

    Can anyone point me in the right direction?

    Thanks.
     
  2. philipphilip99

    philipphilip99 New Member

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  3. Owen

    Owen O

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    what was it called & who wrote it ?
     
  4. philipphilip99

    philipphilip99 New Member

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    Oops. Meant to mention the title.

    Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies and Why by Laurence Gonzales.

    It turns out that Gonzales had written about his father's survival as a POW - which is why I couldn't find the book.
     
  5. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    I have a booklet here called "How to Abandon Ship", issued during WWII. Gotta digitize that sucker.
     

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