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The Lost Airman: A True Story of Escape from Nazi Occupied France

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For fans of Unbroken, the remarkable, untold story of World War II American Air Force turret-gunner Staff Sergeant Arthur Meyerowitz, who was shot down over Nazi-occupied France and evaded Gestapo pursuers for more than six months before escaping to freedom.   Bronx-born top turret-gunner Arthur Meyerowitz was on his second mission when he was shot down in 1943. He was one For fans of Unbroken, the remarkable, untold story of World War II American Air Force turret-gunner Staff Sergeant Arthur Meyerowitz, who was shot down over Nazi-occupied France and evaded Gestapo pursuers for more than six months before escaping to freedom.   Bronx-born top turret-gunner Arthur Meyerowitz was on his second mission when he was shot down in 1943. He was one of only two men on the B-24 Liberator known as “Harmful Lil Armful” who escaped death or immediate capture on the ground.   After fleeing the wreck, Arthur knocked on the door of an isolated farmhouse, whose owners hastily took him in. Fortunately, his hosts not only despised the Nazis but had a tight connection to the French resistance group Morhange and its founder, Marcel Taillandier. Arthur and Taillandier formed an improbable bond as the resistance leader arranged for Arthur’s transfers among safe houses in southern France, shielding him from the Gestapo.   Based on recently declassified material, exclusive personal interviews, and extensive research into the French Resistance, The Lost Airman tells the tense and riveting story of Arthur’s trying months in Toulouse—masquerading as a deaf mute and working with a downed British pilot to evade the Nazis—and of his hair-raising journey to freedom involving a perilous trek over the Pyrenees and a voyage aboard a fishing boat with U-boats lurking below and Luftwaffe fighters looming above. With photographs and maps included, this is a never-before-told true story of endurance, perseverance, and escape during World War II.


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For fans of Unbroken, the remarkable, untold story of World War II American Air Force turret-gunner Staff Sergeant Arthur Meyerowitz, who was shot down over Nazi-occupied France and evaded Gestapo pursuers for more than six months before escaping to freedom.   Bronx-born top turret-gunner Arthur Meyerowitz was on his second mission when he was shot down in 1943. He was one For fans of Unbroken, the remarkable, untold story of World War II American Air Force turret-gunner Staff Sergeant Arthur Meyerowitz, who was shot down over Nazi-occupied France and evaded Gestapo pursuers for more than six months before escaping to freedom.   Bronx-born top turret-gunner Arthur Meyerowitz was on his second mission when he was shot down in 1943. He was one of only two men on the B-24 Liberator known as “Harmful Lil Armful” who escaped death or immediate capture on the ground.   After fleeing the wreck, Arthur knocked on the door of an isolated farmhouse, whose owners hastily took him in. Fortunately, his hosts not only despised the Nazis but had a tight connection to the French resistance group Morhange and its founder, Marcel Taillandier. Arthur and Taillandier formed an improbable bond as the resistance leader arranged for Arthur’s transfers among safe houses in southern France, shielding him from the Gestapo.   Based on recently declassified material, exclusive personal interviews, and extensive research into the French Resistance, The Lost Airman tells the tense and riveting story of Arthur’s trying months in Toulouse—masquerading as a deaf mute and working with a downed British pilot to evade the Nazis—and of his hair-raising journey to freedom involving a perilous trek over the Pyrenees and a voyage aboard a fishing boat with U-boats lurking below and Luftwaffe fighters looming above. With photographs and maps included, this is a never-before-told true story of endurance, perseverance, and escape during World War II.

30 review for The Lost Airman: A True Story of Escape from Nazi Occupied France

  1. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Wilson

    I don't want to be churlish about this book. The story is riveting — so much courage, so much compassion. It's really exciting and shows the limits of human cruelty as well as endurance. I felt like I came to know Arthur Meyerowitz, and I never stopped rooting for him. The resolution scene on Rockaway Beach made me cry on an airplane. Buuuuut....if Barbara Tuchman is The New Yorker, this book is Highlights. Don't get me wrong, both have their place in the world; one is just most definitely for ch I don't want to be churlish about this book. The story is riveting — so much courage, so much compassion. It's really exciting and shows the limits of human cruelty as well as endurance. I felt like I came to know Arthur Meyerowitz, and I never stopped rooting for him. The resolution scene on Rockaway Beach made me cry on an airplane. Buuuuut....if Barbara Tuchman is The New Yorker, this book is Highlights. Don't get me wrong, both have their place in the world; one is just most definitely for children. It's always the obviously made-up details in purported nonfiction that get me: somebody knocked twice on the door, his mother rubbed the frost from the window, somebody else had rheumy eyes. I mean, maybe? I find it distracting and it makes me suspicious about what else has been distorted. I would have unreservedly loved this book as a 14-year-old, and I think it probably belongs in the YA section. I don't need or want my non-fiction to be wrapped in a candy shell of a novel.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Singleton Mosby

    Read the Dutch translation --- While this book has its charms and the parts about the French resistance were interesting, it was a disappointing read. During our holidays in the French Pyrenees we occasionally stumbled upon information about the escape routes for allied pilots. This I decided to read up on it and thought this book was a good and casual start. Well, not so much when the escape through the Pyrenees starts in the story. The author clearly doesn't know much about the region and the l Read the Dutch translation --- While this book has its charms and the parts about the French resistance were interesting, it was a disappointing read. During our holidays in the French Pyrenees we occasionally stumbled upon information about the escape routes for allied pilots. This I decided to read up on it and thought this book was a good and casual start. Well, not so much when the escape through the Pyrenees starts in the story. The author clearly doesn't know much about the region and the lie of the land. The route taken from Toulouse to Perpignan is much longer then described. The pass which the author says they took (Col de Somport) is in the western Pyrenees, not in the eastern part. The Vale d'aran is far from it and not in easy walking distance (I know since I walked it and it takes about a week). The route from Perpignan into the Pyrenees is impractical since it is just two long tight valleys. From what I understood of the signposts in the Pyrenees the main routes of escape where in the central part around Aulus-les-bains and indeed in the Val d'aran (both best accessed from Toulouse instead of Perpignan). But if you take the later you will cross the border with Spain before you really have to cross the big mountainrange. Getting from there to Figueres in Spain is a really long hike of hundreds of kilometres and certainly not the 40 km described in the book. Furthermore: the high summits of the Pyrenees are not just over 2500 meters but over 3000. This however will not let you suffer from height sickness much more then a short period. Not as described in the book. All in all a good effort in the first half but the lack of proper research on the later part let's it down.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Soozblooz

    Pleasant enough, clearly written by an affectionate grandson who tries hard to breathe life into a narrative that relies on research rather than first-person reminiscences. The book suffers for it and for the author's attempts to make his grandfather larger than life when he was simply a gunner with the misfortune of being shot down over France. As a result, Seth Meyerowitz includes overwritten sentences like this, "...showed how highly they respected the American airman for his courage and endu Pleasant enough, clearly written by an affectionate grandson who tries hard to breathe life into a narrative that relies on research rather than first-person reminiscences. The book suffers for it and for the author's attempts to make his grandfather larger than life when he was simply a gunner with the misfortune of being shot down over France. As a result, Seth Meyerowitz includes overwritten sentences like this, "...showed how highly they respected the American airman for his courage and endurance, as well as his ability to keep his head under stress. His instinctive decision to drop his photo identification and papers while being arrested by the Gestapo had proved his mettle to Morhange." Remember, the author is ascribing thoughts and emotions based solely on his imagination. The author also bears a grudge against the pilot and co-pilot of Arthur's doomed craft who, he tells us several times, parachuted out of the plane before ensuring the safety of their crew. A little levity is in order, here I think. The pilot and co-pilot were only 22 or 23, not some war-hardened men. Besides, they were captured by the Nazis and shipped off to a concentration camp. Isn't that penance enough? Apparently not for either granddfather or grandson, the elder bemoaning until his death the fact that he didn't mention their breach of duty at his debriefing. Although grandson Meyerowitz attempts to make his grandfather the hero of this story, the heroes are, in fact, the members of the French Resistance, principally Marcel Taillandier and Gisèle and Pierre Chauvin, who built a network to save downed Allied airmen. Now, there would be a book!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Robin Lee Hatcher

    In my opinion, the best non-fiction reads like a great novel. The Lost Airman achieves that. It was a riveting retelling of one young airman's many months in France, evading the Nazis with the help of the French Resistance. In my opinion, the best non-fiction reads like a great novel. The Lost Airman achieves that. It was a riveting retelling of one young airman's many months in France, evading the Nazis with the help of the French Resistance.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    A detailed, fascinating, and ultimately moving account of WWII airman's quest to evade capture in occupied France and return home to Bronx, New York. After his B-24 is shot down Seth Meyerowitz owed his life to tenacity and bravery of the French Resistance that will rescue him and help him to freedom. Interesting read one I could not put down. A detailed, fascinating, and ultimately moving account of WWII airman's quest to evade capture in occupied France and return home to Bronx, New York. After his B-24 is shot down Seth Meyerowitz owed his life to tenacity and bravery of the French Resistance that will rescue him and help him to freedom. Interesting read one I could not put down.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Dave Hoff

    Every Vet has a story, every Bomber crewman who bailed out over Nazi occupied France and escaped, has a hair raising tale to tell. Most do not write about it, and it is left for the son or grandson to investigate, research and come out with a good book. This is one. A lot about the French Resistance fighters who risked and many gave their lives or were tortured terrible for helping the Airmen get to Spain and hopefully on to safety . Writer gives the credit due to them. And told how the loved on Every Vet has a story, every Bomber crewman who bailed out over Nazi occupied France and escaped, has a hair raising tale to tell. Most do not write about it, and it is left for the son or grandson to investigate, research and come out with a good book. This is one. A lot about the French Resistance fighters who risked and many gave their lives or were tortured terrible for helping the Airmen get to Spain and hopefully on to safety . Writer gives the credit due to them. And told how the loved ones anguished, not knowing for over a year their Airman lived.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Sprague

    A very intersting and riveting story of how an airman eluded capture in occupied France, but somewhat marred by clearly excessive liberties taken with the narrative. This reads like a novel almost, and includes details that the writer could not possibly have known, such as how certain people felt at precise moments in time; their inner thoughts, physical expressions, etc. That aside though, it was a quick read and tells a side of the war you may not have read a lot about previously.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    The story of his survival after being shot down is quite impressive but I found the book to be almost too detailed and borderline repetitive at times. The most intriguing part of the whole book had less to do with the American Airman, Arthur Meyerowitz, and more to do with Marcel Taillandier. This is not to take anything away from the airman and his will to survive, but I felt the story to be lacking at times.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Hank Pharis

    This also was an engrossing account. However surprisingly Sherry enjoyed it even more than me and sent her Dad a copy. (Note: I'm stingy with stars. For me 2 stars means a good book. 3 = Very good; 4 = Outstanding {only about 5% of the books I read merit this}; 5 = All time favorites {one of these may come along every 400-500 books}) This also was an engrossing account. However surprisingly Sherry enjoyed it even more than me and sent her Dad a copy. (Note: I'm stingy with stars. For me 2 stars means a good book. 3 = Very good; 4 = Outstanding {only about 5% of the books I read merit this}; 5 = All time favorites {one of these may come along every 400-500 books})

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ksorb

    The Lost Airman is a thrilling and touching true story of fear, courage and cowardice, of loss and survival, as the hearts and character of men and women in the military and in the French Resistance intersect in WW2-occupied France. Keep in mind that it is in that murky sea between history and historical fiction that most history is muddied: it makes assumptions re the details of what facts can be unearthed, of what survivors remember seven decades after the events. No one lacks bias and we all The Lost Airman is a thrilling and touching true story of fear, courage and cowardice, of loss and survival, as the hearts and character of men and women in the military and in the French Resistance intersect in WW2-occupied France. Keep in mind that it is in that murky sea between history and historical fiction that most history is muddied: it makes assumptions re the details of what facts can be unearthed, of what survivors remember seven decades after the events. No one lacks bias and we all see and tell truth as we see and understand it. It is true here as everywhere, for the story is told by the proud and loving grandson of the title character, whose story it is. That said, it was a true story, and where details are inaccurate the story isn't really affected or lessened in my eyes, considering the source and the fact that the concerns some have could be said about any biography or memoir. Selected memory affects us all! Read in that context, it's a terrific story. It had a few repetitions that the editor in me noticed. Perhaps unintentionally, what makes this book gripping is not so much the story of the brave airman, though he certainly was! The real story, the real heroes in this book, are the members of the French Resistance, common people with uncommon courage, daily making self-sacrificial decisions, laying down their lives for total strangers, for their allies, for their country. For Arthur. I hated having to turn away when the demands of my own life called for my attention. Throughout, it gripped me, angered and appalled me, and thrilled me. It steeled me (en"couraged" me) to face my own fears with bravery and to do the right thing, no matter the personal cost. While the writing mostly avoided hyperbole, and the audible was narrated with a steady, non-dramatic yet intensely, steely-cold voice, it still made me cheer and boooo, and in the end, it made me weep. Now, excuse me; I need to go reapply my makeup...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Brandon Genawese

    "The Lost Airman" does a great job at telling a war story, from a first person perspective. The main character (Arthur) goes through many different situations and encounters many problems, all of which help develop the realism of war. It is very well done. However the transitions are not always clear, and there are lots of different names of vehicles and guns that I think overwhelm the story. Other than that, the book was able to hold my attention and interest fairly well. "The Lost Airman" does a great job at telling a war story, from a first person perspective. The main character (Arthur) goes through many different situations and encounters many problems, all of which help develop the realism of war. It is very well done. However the transitions are not always clear, and there are lots of different names of vehicles and guns that I think overwhelm the story. Other than that, the book was able to hold my attention and interest fairly well.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Eric Abisror

    This was a very good book about a airman that was brought down over France! This book retells the incredible story of survival. If you enjoy reading World War II history, you will enjoy this!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jake Kim

    The Lost Airman, by Peter F Stevens and Seth Meyerowitz is a must-read for anyone who is interested in World War II stories. The main author, Seth Meyerowitz, is the grandson of Arthur Meyerowitz, who is the protagonist of the book. It is quite amazing how much information he gathered from the people that his grandfather met. His grandfather passed away before the book could be written, so that is why he had to dig deep into his notes, letters and conversations with the people that he met. This The Lost Airman, by Peter F Stevens and Seth Meyerowitz is a must-read for anyone who is interested in World War II stories. The main author, Seth Meyerowitz, is the grandson of Arthur Meyerowitz, who is the protagonist of the book. It is quite amazing how much information he gathered from the people that his grandfather met. His grandfather passed away before the book could be written, so that is why he had to dig deep into his notes, letters and conversations with the people that he met. This book actually reminds me of the way Rebecca Skloot, author of Henrietta Lacks, had to research information for a decade before publishing her book. This is the only novel that Seth Meyerowitz ever published but the secondary author, Peter F. Stevens, is known for his two books, Voyage of the Catalpa and Fatal Dive. The Lost Airman is about the story of Arthur Meyerowitz who joins the army for World War II because he was very patriotic after the Pearl Harbor bombing. He wants to become an airman and trains very hard for several months. Arthur finally became an airman and on his first mission, his plane gets shot down over Nazi-occupied France. He found himself to be alone, with the enemy all around him, and nowhere to go. But Arthur meets up with the French Resistance who helped him escape from the Nazis. From my understanding, Arthur Meyerowitz is a very connectable character. He has a family that cares deeply about him and he is very compassionate towards the French people that helped him evade the Nazis. He was very bold to sign up for the army willingly and he was very helpful to others that needed it. Seth Meyerowitz writes the story in such a way that the reader stays intrigued throughout the story. There is a lot of suspense every time that Arthur Meyerowitz, the protagonist, comes close to getting captured by the Nazis. There are several jokes throughout the novel that will give the reader a good laugh or a connectable moment such as when he almost beat up a husband for beating his wife frequently. The main idea of the book that I saw was that there are always people that are willing to help others, even if it meant that they put themselves in danger doing so. The French Resistance was willing to help many stranded American troops, including Meyerowitz, escape from the clutches of the Nazi Empire. I recommend The Lost Airman to anyone that is interested in World War II stories. I feel that older people, however, will take more appreciation towards this novel because younger people may not care about World War II, but I may be wrong. One thing that should be brought to the attention of any parent whose child may read this book however is that there are many references to Nazi Germany and the horrors that they committed. So if you do not want your child to know what Hitler and his Nazis did, this book may not be suitable for younger children. There are also some cases of violence and implied death, which may also not be suited for younger readers. This novel actually reminds me of another novel that I read by the name of Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand, which is another book about a World War II airman by the name of Louis Zamperini. His story was different however because he was captured by the Japanese and put into an internment camp until the war ended. The Lost Airman is a truly exceptional book that I recommend to anyone that is willing to enjoy a World War II story. The story is very relatable for the reader and from my experience, the reader can build a connection with Arthur Meyerowitz. I give the book a 9.2 out of 10 just because at some parts, the story seems a bit slow. But please do read this book!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Wayne

    The good points: Although retired, reading this true story reminded me of the excitement with which I delved into a suspenseful & exciting tale as a youth. There were times I regretted that it would end. Emotions ranged the spectrum as the trials & experiences of the protagonist, airman Arthur Meyerowitz, as well as those who aided in his escape from occupied France during WWII, were related. His story is almost eclipsed by a daring, dashing, & incredibly brave leader of a cell of the French Res The good points: Although retired, reading this true story reminded me of the excitement with which I delved into a suspenseful & exciting tale as a youth. There were times I regretted that it would end. Emotions ranged the spectrum as the trials & experiences of the protagonist, airman Arthur Meyerowitz, as well as those who aided in his escape from occupied France during WWII, were related. His story is almost eclipsed by a daring, dashing, & incredibly brave leader of a cell of the French Resistance, Marcel Taillandier. One stands agape witnessing the courage & self sacrifice of good people who resist the authorities during terrible times. Those Resistance members who were captured almost all suffered terrible endings. The Gestapo were masters of making death a painful passage. The book ends on a very poignant note - those who survived the events covered in the book almost all had very hard times adjusting to life after the war's end. The bad points: The book lacks an index, which is maddening due to the array of characters & locations in the text. (I even made a rudimentary one for myself.) In addition, many events & even the characters beg for more information, considering the action & intrigue involved in this story. This is, understandably, unavailable due to the fact that no first hand sources remain alive. The author does a good job of accessing now declassified documents. The dialogue in quotation marks in the book come mainly from these documents. Lastly, the author, publisher, proofreader (I don't know who to blame) exhibits a very frustrating lack of correlating chronology e.g. at one point, the airman is captured & severely beaten. After being rescued by his supporters, he stays at a safe location in order to recuperate from his injuries. Once recovered, he is transferred back to a former location from which he could resume his attempt to escape from France. All throughout this period, the author gives fairly specific time frames, such as "...late March, 1944.." & "In early April, 1944...". However, for what has occurred in the story, the time frame from the airman's capture un till his return to his former location would have had to have lasted at least one month. From the author's writing, it could be argued that the airman's capture occurred AFTER his return. This was not the only glaring example of skewed chronology. Overall, however, reading this book was definitely not a waste of my time.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Randy

    For the most part this was an interesting a readable book about a grandfather who bailed out of a B-24 over France in 1943 and spent several months with the French resistance in Southern France and, ultimately, escaped and returned to the USA. The story is as much about the heroes of the resistance as it is about the protagonist, a young, Jewish non-com who became a crew chief and gunner after just missing an opportunity to get his wings in flying school. It's a classic WWII tale of heroism and For the most part this was an interesting a readable book about a grandfather who bailed out of a B-24 over France in 1943 and spent several months with the French resistance in Southern France and, ultimately, escaped and returned to the USA. The story is as much about the heroes of the resistance as it is about the protagonist, a young, Jewish non-com who became a crew chief and gunner after just missing an opportunity to get his wings in flying school. It's a classic WWII tale of heroism and perseverance, a story that was repeated many times. Hundreds of airman were rescued and saved from torture, prison and even death by brave French men and woman. Curiously, our hero, who was trained by the resistance to act deaf and dumb was arrested once by the Gestapo and severely beaten. A Vichy cop who secretly a resistance member walked him out of jail and into hiding. I'm sure that Seth Meyerowitz, the author and grandson, had to work hard to put all the pieces together to tell this story. There are more than a couple instances that are bothersome. In one winter scene food is served that must have been out of season and hard to find in wartime. In another, the leader of the resistance walks with our hero and guides and a couple of very uncooperative Belgians across the Pyrenees. During this hike they were constantly under surveillance by German spotter planes. The resistance leader, Marcel, who throughout the book would not hesitate to pull the trigger on Germans or disloyal French, puts up with the Belgians and then decides to walk all the way back over the mountains with them. Another curious sidebar is the Meyerowitz's grudge against his pilot and copilot who he alleges abandoned ship before the rest of the crew. Small complaints aside, an enjoyable book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Vicky Hunt

    The Silent Sound of an Audible Deletion I had great expectations for this book as a good WWII novel, but was surprised to realize that it was actually written as more of a memoir... or maybe a family roots type chronicle. To give a book to compare it to, it reminds me a bit of Ghost Train Through the Andes: On My Grandfather's Trail in Chile and Bolivia. It is written in a subjective tone of someone who admires an ancestor, rather than being an objective look at a person's deeds. So, the charact The Silent Sound of an Audible Deletion I had great expectations for this book as a good WWII novel, but was surprised to realize that it was actually written as more of a memoir... or maybe a family roots type chronicle. To give a book to compare it to, it reminds me a bit of Ghost Train Through the Andes: On My Grandfather's Trail in Chile and Bolivia. It is written in a subjective tone of someone who admires an ancestor, rather than being an objective look at a person's deeds. So, the characters seem to be flat and one dimensional. I enjoyed Ghost TrainThrough the Andes because I had a reason to read it... info on the railroads and a little known (to me) region of the world. Here however, I've read other novels on the Nazi invasion and occupation. There's no real motivation to make me want to follow a one dimensional memoir of a stranger's distant relatives. I don't know. It just didn't seem very interesting to me. I couldn't force myself to finish this. So, I cast it aside (figuratively, since I actually just hit the delete button on my Audible app and got a credit refund.) There will be other WWII novels, though I have pledged myself to not allow my Journey Around the World in 80 books project be a series of books about war. I can always read war novels on the side without feeling like I've gotten lost on my journey. But, this is not that. (Not a war novel.)

  17. 4 out of 5

    jenni1st

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. **please note, this is less a review and more a reading journal; as such, it will be of no value to others. thanks for understanding.** #1 thing – what did Arthur do to provoke the horse? some horse he rode in laredo gave him an eye injury that DQ'd him from flight school - what did he do to that poor horse? the book - actually enjoyed very much in spite of my small peeves listed below. good story pretty well told. quite interesting and gripping but overly sympathetic to the author's grandfather (a **please note, this is less a review and more a reading journal; as such, it will be of no value to others. thanks for understanding.** #1 thing – what did Arthur do to provoke the horse? some horse he rode in laredo gave him an eye injury that DQ'd him from flight school - what did he do to that poor horse? the book - actually enjoyed very much in spite of my small peeves listed below. good story pretty well told. quite interesting and gripping but overly sympathetic to the author's grandfather (arthur meyerowitz the protagonist). in fact, "the luckiest airman" might be a better title. it is by the grace of the leader of that segment of the French resistance that personally saw to his escape – kind of a guardian angel scenario that he got out at all (a man who quickly lost his own life). so many brave and intelligent allied airmen were lost and never returned home, yep, this guy was lucky - horrors the nazis put him through not withstanding, but even that was a sheer matter of a few hours as compared to the weeks and months endured (or succumbed to) by some of his helpers. this book would have been 5 stars if the protagonist hadn’t been over-praised. got kinda tired of hearing how intelligent, brave, quick-thinking, etc he was. he may have been all of those things, but he was unbelievably lucky. also, early on during training - the city-born soldiers who laughed at the country-born ones when the latter were surprised during the lecture regarding STDs and the “loose women” who frequented the areas around the bases – did the latter group laugh when Arthur got injured by a horse? two-way street there. not up to the "unbroken" story; what that soldier went through at the hands of his japanese captors was SO much worse! interesting details about the freedom fighters, such strong, brave french patriots. where was the bravery when the germans were invading? I’ve read many WW2 books but never heard that the French blamed the English for running away to Dunkirk. interesting (and blame-passing) take on that invasion. the germans invaded France (again) and the English were at fault – hmmmmm… how frustrating for Churchill.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Gayla Marks

    This review is for the audio book version. This is a true story about a bomber tail-gunner, during World War II, who was Jewish. On one of his first flights over occupied France, Arthur Meyerwitz's plane was shot down. To be captured by the Germans would have meant almost instant death for Meyerwitz. However, Meyerwitz is lucky enough to evade immediate capture by happening upon a nearby farmhouse in which lives a French couple who have connections with the French underground. The story unfolds This review is for the audio book version. This is a true story about a bomber tail-gunner, during World War II, who was Jewish. On one of his first flights over occupied France, Arthur Meyerwitz's plane was shot down. To be captured by the Germans would have meant almost instant death for Meyerwitz. However, Meyerwitz is lucky enough to evade immediate capture by happening upon a nearby farmhouse in which lives a French couple who have connections with the French underground. The story unfolds as this couple passes Meyerwitz off to the underground/resistance who spirit him to different safe-houses, provide him with fake ID cards, and risk their lives at every turn in trying to get him south to the Pyrenees over which he can be guided to safety. The individual situations depicted in the novel have been well-researched and documented and it is a marvel to imagine the extent to which the French resistance members put their own lives on the line to insure that Meyerwitz reached freedom. Just one amazing story which I enjoyed immensely. It is stories such as this which help to flesh out the mostly meager insight most of us have into how the every-day people in the war-torn countries of World War II responded to their invaders and how they responded when they were truly needed.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Based on the prologue, I thought the sign was telling them (view spoiler)[ that Arthur was missing (hide spoiler)] . I'm not sure I've ever read a non-fiction book with a plot twist :) It's also a mark of good writing when you know the outcome but are still fearful for the men. I mean, clearly we know the ending for Arthur and Cleaver, but I was still tense multiply times during their time in France and their escape. I have to say that it's rather amazing how many people put their lives on the lin Based on the prologue, I thought the sign was telling them (view spoiler)[ that Arthur was missing (hide spoiler)] . I'm not sure I've ever read a non-fiction book with a plot twist :) It's also a mark of good writing when you know the outcome but are still fearful for the men. I mean, clearly we know the ending for Arthur and Cleaver, but I was still tense multiply times during their time in France and their escape. I have to say that it's rather amazing how many people put their lives on the line for one American airman. They didn't know him from Adam but risked everything to save him. Now, I do understand that it was also bigger than just helping Arthur, but still. There are some swear words early on in the book, but thankfully they disappear from the pages after that. I hate having to put up with swearing in non-fiction. Yeah, it's war, but you don't have to write it. Throughout the story, there are "interruptions" to talk about Arthur's family back home or to give you some backstory or update on the other people he met. Each side trail is well-placed and fits in well with the over all story so you're not jerked around. Inserting information like that can be challenging and Meyerowitz did it well.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Bucket Filler543

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This biography was written by the grandson of the main character in the book, Arthur. This book is good and will keep you entertained throughout the story. There are amazing moments in the story and it was written with much in-depth detail about Arthur. There are also interesting people like Taillandier who is part of The Resistance and taking Arthur in and trying to get him back home safely. The bond between Arthur and the Nazi despising Resistance is interesting and it kept me reading because This biography was written by the grandson of the main character in the book, Arthur. This book is good and will keep you entertained throughout the story. There are amazing moments in the story and it was written with much in-depth detail about Arthur. There are also interesting people like Taillandier who is part of The Resistance and taking Arthur in and trying to get him back home safely. The bond between Arthur and the Nazi despising Resistance is interesting and it kept me reading because I didn't know what could happen next, Arthur could be killed by Gestapo at any moment. I was intrigued why all of these fighters would risk their lives for one American airman. I enjoyed this book and give it a 4-star rating because of the mood and tone the author wrote the story in. The author starts off with an intense tone every since the bomber crashed down with Arthur in it at the start. The story kept getting more intense from there. Although some parts in the story were calmer, it was nice to take a breath from all the worrying about Arthur and the Resistance. This is one of the better books I have read in a while, this dark tone reminds the reader that the author was not limited to what he could write.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. When I read Unbroken, I didn't know anything about Zamperini's story. This was before it was a mega hit as a book and long before the movie. I remember being shocked when he went into Japanese captivity, because I thought book would have been complete with the story of his survival at sea. I found Arthur Meyerowitz's story similarly incredible. At each turn, I thought he would be captured (eventually he was for a short period), but the harrowing details of his life on the run, his help from the When I read Unbroken, I didn't know anything about Zamperini's story. This was before it was a mega hit as a book and long before the movie. I remember being shocked when he went into Japanese captivity, because I thought book would have been complete with the story of his survival at sea. I found Arthur Meyerowitz's story similarly incredible. At each turn, I thought he would be captured (eventually he was for a short period), but the harrowing details of his life on the run, his help from the French resistance, his trek across the Pyrenees, read like one big chase seen from a Jason Bourne novel. Seth Meyerowitz's exhaustive research about his grandfather's tale coupled with Peter Stevens's storytelling make this a book you can't pass up. Not only is it a tale of one man's courage, character and fortitude, it is equally the story of occupied France and the resistance fighters that risked their lives to rescue Allied Airmen. Whether you are interested in World War II or you are just looking for a brilliant fast-paced read, you won't be disappointed.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Samyann

    Audible audio. Regardless of any opinion of this book, the true story of Arthur Meyerowitz is breathtaking, awe inspiring. There are not enough adjectives. He endured/survived through an incredible era of history. That said, the execution is lacking. Although incredible, the story is dry. Sorry to say, it is terribly trite. Arthur is in an airplane over France, crashes, buries his parachute, is sheltered by the French Resistance, and makes his way to freedom. The same circumstance has been told i Audible audio. Regardless of any opinion of this book, the true story of Arthur Meyerowitz is breathtaking, awe inspiring. There are not enough adjectives. He endured/survived through an incredible era of history. That said, the execution is lacking. Although incredible, the story is dry. Sorry to say, it is terribly trite. Arthur is in an airplane over France, crashes, buries his parachute, is sheltered by the French Resistance, and makes his way to freedom. The same circumstance has been told in movies, books, etc., many times. There is no surprise, predictable with any knowledge of WWII history. The narrator is monotone. The Meyerowitz family should be very proud, a wonderful story. A mediocre book, worth reading for the story itself, not the writing, not the narration. The Lost Airman is co-written with Peter F. Stevens, 9.5 hours of listening in unabridged format, a 2016 release byRecorded Books.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jove

    A gripping story revolving around an American airman shot down over occupied France. Once he hits the ground, the story is really more about the French Resistance than it is about the airman, though he obviously figures prominently. For obvious reasons, the storyline reminds me of Saving Bravo. In both books the real hardmen seem to be the ones making the rescue, though Meyerowitz comports himself better than Hambelton - both in his preparations prior to the crash, during the prolonged rescue an A gripping story revolving around an American airman shot down over occupied France. Once he hits the ground, the story is really more about the French Resistance than it is about the airman, though he obviously figures prominently. For obvious reasons, the storyline reminds me of Saving Bravo. In both books the real hardmen seem to be the ones making the rescue, though Meyerowitz comports himself better than Hambelton - both in his preparations prior to the crash, during the prolonged rescue and even afterwards where he largely kept silent about his own ordeals. The Greatest Generation v Baby Boomers encapsulated in two tales of downed airmen? Surprisingly I really enjoyed the descriptions of flight prior to the loss of the aircraft. I hadn't heard the perspective the author had been able to relay regarding the capabilities of bombers during that time period, or the crew dynamics needed to keep them aloft.

  24. 5 out of 5

    William

    The book The Lost Airman is a interesting true story about one mans journey from being an airman, to resistance fighter, and finally a rescued pilot. I found this books story to be very well put together and left you with no immediate questions. It is certainly a book I will read more than once. The author, being a descendant of the main character made this book into one that I was no able to put down it seems. I always wanted to know what happened next. This books detail gave me a grasp of what The book The Lost Airman is a interesting true story about one mans journey from being an airman, to resistance fighter, and finally a rescued pilot. I found this books story to be very well put together and left you with no immediate questions. It is certainly a book I will read more than once. The author, being a descendant of the main character made this book into one that I was no able to put down it seems. I always wanted to know what happened next. This books detail gave me a grasp of what it must have been like to be undercover and running from the gestapo, to have that thought in the back of your mind that every passing man or woman is a Nazi trying to take you in. This is what makes this book so great.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Just A. Bean

    Book about the top turret gunner/flight engineer on a B-24 who went down in occupied France and survived for some months then escaped to Spain with the help of the French Resistance. The writing itself is melodramatic and frankly not very good, but the book seemed well researched, and I didn't know much about the network that supported downed airmen, so that was all very interesting. The book got off on a few tangents about what other resistance cells were doing, which was also very interesting. Book about the top turret gunner/flight engineer on a B-24 who went down in occupied France and survived for some months then escaped to Spain with the help of the French Resistance. The writing itself is melodramatic and frankly not very good, but the book seemed well researched, and I didn't know much about the network that supported downed airmen, so that was all very interesting. The book got off on a few tangents about what other resistance cells were doing, which was also very interesting. It's a cool story, and would make a good movie. The narrator kept doing European accents, badly, and I wanted him to stop. I can assume a German accent between two Germans speaking German to each other. Or not. Just don't try one when you can't do one.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Chris Yorgason

    Disappointing. When I selected this book I was hopeful that it would be a retelling of one man’s experiences returning to safety after being shot down over occupied France during World War II. To me, the book was much more about the French Resistance and the main character was simply used as an example of one man they helped lead to safety. With that in mind, it was a pretty good story. The frustrating and disappointing part for me was that the author seemed more interested in building up his gr Disappointing. When I selected this book I was hopeful that it would be a retelling of one man’s experiences returning to safety after being shot down over occupied France during World War II. To me, the book was much more about the French Resistance and the main character was simply used as an example of one man they helped lead to safety. With that in mind, it was a pretty good story. The frustrating and disappointing part for me was that the author seemed more interested in building up his grandfather’s reputation and tearing down other soldier’s, including regularly referring to certain soldiers as cowards. For me, it was an unnecessary personal attack and an unnecessary theme in the book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Travis Pool

    I went back and forth on a rating for this book. I first started this book back in July of 2019, read about ten pages, and put it away. It sounded like an interesting story, and I consider myself a WWII buff, but I just couldn’t get into this one. I read one review that stated the book should be labeled as YA (Young Adult) and I think that describes it perfectly. The story is riveting, it’s just the writing seems aimed towards a younger audience. I’m glad I decided to give it another try. The th I went back and forth on a rating for this book. I first started this book back in July of 2019, read about ten pages, and put it away. It sounded like an interesting story, and I consider myself a WWII buff, but I just couldn’t get into this one. I read one review that stated the book should be labeled as YA (Young Adult) and I think that describes it perfectly. The story is riveting, it’s just the writing seems aimed towards a younger audience. I’m glad I decided to give it another try. The things that the people in the story endured are amazing and the fact that the main characters grandson discovered all of this years later makes it all the more special. If you’re wanting an interesting and quick read give this one a try.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Bill Conrad

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book appeared on a recommended non-fiction list, and the cover looked interesting. Right away, Seth leads the reader right into the action. Staff Sergeant Arthur Meyerowitz parachutes into France from his destroyed B24 is injured and struggles to survive. The plot takes many turns, and lots of people help Arthur escape capture. Along the way, he has many close calls and witnesses many brutal acts. I found the mountain travel scenes to be the most interesting. This book tells a splendid story This book appeared on a recommended non-fiction list, and the cover looked interesting. Right away, Seth leads the reader right into the action. Staff Sergeant Arthur Meyerowitz parachutes into France from his destroyed B24 is injured and struggles to survive. The plot takes many turns, and lots of people help Arthur escape capture. Along the way, he has many close calls and witnesses many brutal acts. I found the mountain travel scenes to be the most interesting. This book tells a splendid story of survival and resistance. However, I would have liked more detail about what happened to the characters afterward. I felt that the section was a bit rushed. Overall an interesting work and I recommended it to a friend who likes WWII books.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Bill White

    I only read non-fiction and I picked this up at BJ's expecting a good real life story of an American surviving the horrors of war. I couldn't get through the 2nd chapter. The writing is more like someone writing a romance novel than providing details of the escape. The author ( grandson) takes far too many liberties describing every thought, conversation and body movement that the subject made back in WW II. to make this seem a real depiction of what happened. Based on what little I read, I quest I only read non-fiction and I picked this up at BJ's expecting a good real life story of an American surviving the horrors of war. I couldn't get through the 2nd chapter. The writing is more like someone writing a romance novel than providing details of the escape. The author ( grandson) takes far too many liberties describing every thought, conversation and body movement that the subject made back in WW II. to make this seem a real depiction of what happened. Based on what little I read, I question how much of the story would be fabricated making it difficult to believe. At least I have learned to read an entire page before buying a book to get a feel of what to expect. If I had, I would not have wasted the $11 at BJ's.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    I received a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway. While I wouldn't say it was poorly written by any means, I simply could not be interested in it. WWII has always been a period of history that fascinates me, but this one was far too much about the technical aspects of flight for my taste and I had a really hard time getting through it. Having said that, I think it's fantastic that the author put so much work into piecing together his grandfather's story, and I would encourage people not to I received a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway. While I wouldn't say it was poorly written by any means, I simply could not be interested in it. WWII has always been a period of history that fascinates me, but this one was far too much about the technical aspects of flight for my taste and I had a really hard time getting through it. Having said that, I think it's fantastic that the author put so much work into piecing together his grandfather's story, and I would encourage people not to let my personal preferences dictate whether or not they read the book. It simply didn't appeal to my tastes.

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