Luck of the Draw: My Story of the Air War in Europe (Hardcover)

Luck of the Draw: My Story of the Air War in Europe By Frank Murphy, Chloe Melas (Contributions by), Elizabeth Murphy (Contributions by) Cover Image
By Frank Murphy, Chloe Melas (Contributions by), Elizabeth Murphy (Contributions by)
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THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“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

The epic true story of an American hero who flew during WWII, as featured in the 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.

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 NBC, 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.)

About the Author


FRANK MURPHY survived months in a German POW camp after being shot out of his B-17 Flying Fortress. His bravery earned him the Prisoner of War Medal, Purple Heart, and Air Medal. The incredible stories of Murphy and his 8th Air Force’s 100th Bomb Group are featured in the Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks TV Series, Masters of the Air.

CHLOE MELAS is an entertainment reporter for NBC, covering breaking celebrity news, industry analyses and in-depth investigations. She currently resides in New York with her husband and two sons.

ELIZABETH MURPHY holds a Masters of English Literature from Northern Arizona University and is the author of numerous children's books. She currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia, where she was born and raised.

Praise For…


“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

"Murphy describes some of the bloodiest air battles of the war as only a person who was actually there can. Luck of the Draw is a riveting and often harrowing must-read for anyone interested in military aviation, the second world war, or just plain real-life adventure." John Orloff, writer, Band of Brothers (HBO) and Masters of the Air (Apple TV+)

"Originally published in 2001, this finely wrought memoir captures the fortitude and resilience of the "greatest generation"...Students of military history will appreciate Murphy’s detailed accounts of the Army Air Corp’s training program and a B-17 navigator’s responsibilities, while more casual readers will savor Murphy’s heartfelt tributes to comrades in arms. The result is a winning WWII story." —Publishers Weekly

"We should be grateful to have this book again, with or without a TV tie-in. A lot of cliches have been spilled about the Greatest Generation, but without ever being the least bit boastful Frank Murphy embodies it...Ultimately, Murphy remembered just about everything, augmented by excellent research." —New York Journal of Books

"Navigator Frank Murphy’s propulsive account of the American bomber war against Nazi Germany is also a powerful and poignant memoir of survival in a German POW compound. The book’s heart-stopping account of the brutal Winter March of the captured Allied airmen across the heart of Hitler’s dying Reich places it with Twelve O’Clock High as a classic of World War II literature." Donald L. Miller, author of Masters of the Air: The American Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany

“A gripping, inspirational account of incredible bravery, resilience, and sheer will to survive. Frank Murphy was a true American hero who served courageously in the skies over Europe during WWII and who then demonstrated extraordinary fortitude and determination in the face of unimaginable challenges as a prisoner of war. A truly extraordinary story!" General David Petraeus, US Army (Ret.), former Commander of the Surge in Iraq, US Central Command, and NATO and US Forces in Afghanistan, and former Director of the CIA

“Ever wonder if you had what it took to stare death in the face and push it aside and go forth into the unknown? That is what these young airmen of the 8th Army Air Force accomplished every time they loaded up for another mission. Frank Murphy has eloquently described the harrowing experiences of a B-17 crew from the loss of crewmembers, confronting his own mortality and ultimately the trauma of incarceration as a prisoner of war. This account is partly to honor his noble brothers of the air but also a reminder to future generations of the heroic young men of the Bomber Command.” —Rick Perry, son of B-17 tail gunner 95th BG, 47th Governor of Texas, and 14th Secretary of Energy

“Every generation needs a spokesman for its endeavors. In this respect Murphy does the young men of VIII Bomber Command proud.” —Roger A. Freeman, author and Eighth Air Force historian

“I urge you to read Frank Murphy’s truly memorable story.” —Ian L. Hawkins, author and World War II historian



Product Details
ISBN: 9781250284150
ISBN-10: 1250284155
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: February 28th, 2023
Pages: 480
Language: English