Read The Lost Airman: A True Story of Escape from Nazi Occupied France by Seth Meyerowitz Peter Stevens Online


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 oneFor 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....

Title : The Lost Airman: A True Story of Escape from Nazi Occupied France
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781592409297
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 320 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

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

  • Singleton Mosby
    2018-11-22 07:21

    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.

  • Soozblooz
    2018-11-23 15:00

    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!

  • Dave Hoff
    2018-11-19 07:55

    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.

  • Eric Abisror
    2018-12-02 15:23

    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!

  • Wayne
    2018-11-22 12:56

    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 untill 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.

  • Randy
    2018-12-14 11:12

    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.

  • G Marks
    2018-12-03 13:10

    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.

  • Dan
    2018-11-20 15:10

    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.

  • William
    2018-12-06 09:16

    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.

  • Tanner Nelson
    2018-12-08 11:15

    A riveting history written in narrative style, The Lost Airman does a superb job of relating the nail-biting journey of Sergeant Arthur Meyerowitz through France and Spain after bailing out of his destroyed B-24 over France.This is a novel and, as such, likely takes creative license from primary documents uncovered by the author, Seth Meyerowitz. I appreciated the narrative style, though. Most of the novel focuses on Arthur’s time in France. Enough outside detail is given to help the reader understand the consequences of the French Resistance’s actions. Overall, I recommend this book to all those curious about Occupied France or how Allied pilots and airman escaped from Nazi clutches.

  • Amanda
    2018-11-22 10:08

    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.

  • Bonnie
    2018-12-12 15:21

    Another amazing WWII story of grit and bravery. A tail-gunner from the Bronx, Meyerwitz on his second flight goes down in southern France and then with the help of people of the Resistance equally filled with grit and bravery, is able to walk out over the Pyrenees and into northern Spain. (so reminiscent of the survival story of my friend, Cyd's, father). An excellent read.

  • Judy
    2018-11-19 14:56

    Bravery Through telling his grandfather’s story of survival, Meyerowitz pays homage to the bravery of the French Resistance and the price they paid to save France from the Nazis. Most impressive research and narrative. Glad to have read this book and have recommended it to others. Flows well. Could be a movie.

  • Kathleen Kline
    2018-11-16 12:04

    I really enjoyed the story of Arthur Meyerowitz, the Lost Airman. Unfortunately, for me it had too many details about the war and about the various people he came in contact with. It was interesting to read about how the French Resistance sacrificed their own lives in various ways to fight the Nazis and to save others.

  • Rebecca Smith
    2018-11-20 08:10

    I found it fascinating to learn about the French resistance to the Nazis during WWII. It's astounding how many people put their country and others' lives before their own.I appreciate Seth Meyerowitz taking the time to tell his grandfather's story.

  • Martin
    2018-11-19 14:15

    Read the Czech translation ---It's really interresting story about heroism of French resistance during WWII. I totally changed my mind about French people and their resistance. Till now I thought about them much more like Nazi servants from Vichy.

  • Amy
    2018-12-09 10:17

    This was an incredible book. The extreme situations some of these downed pilots had to endure in order to get to safety are just insane. And to think of the perfect strangers that put themselves in harms way in order to help. . . A definite read for anyone who enjoys true stories from wars past.

  • Alisha Martinez
    2018-11-19 14:24

    This was chilling. WWII hold a dear place in my heart. I love that the grandson of the survivor went through and was able to tell his grandfathers story. I understand some might be false or over exaggerated but it's still well told and I'm sure not far from the truth!

  • Lee Scordis
    2018-12-03 09:01

    A gripping and moving story.Not only does it offer a picture of Nazi occupied France but it also paints a picture of how brutal the Gestapo were.The book also delves into the role of the resistance and how they operated.

  • Vicki
    2018-12-14 12:23

    I wasn't sure about the beginning- descriptions were over the top. But the story becomes very fascinating and suspenseful.

  • Numidica
    2018-12-03 13:06

    Interesting detail about the French Resistance in Southwest France in WWII.

  • Stephanie Cohen
    2018-11-29 08:24

    very interesting....learned a great deal through his story

  • Bethany Bendel
    2018-12-13 10:04

    Great story of survival. Learned a lot about the French resistance and would like to learn more. It's not Unbroken or We Die Alone, but still a great story.

  • Tim
    2018-11-15 08:05

    A really well done and touching historical record of life in Nazi occupied France and what it meant to be part of the resistance there. Not going to lie I was kind of crying at this one.

  • Ford
    2018-12-10 13:24

    Great book. Learned about the courage of the French Resistance and makes me want to learn more about these brave men and women.

  • Last Ranger
    2018-11-25 09:59

    The Long Road Home:Injured and alone behind enemy lines in war-torn France, Gunnery-Sargent Arthur Meyerowitz is caught between a rock and a hard place. If he's ever to see home again he must somehow evade capture by German Nazi troupes and their allies, the "Vichy French". His only hope is to make contact with the "Morhange", the French-Resistance operatives that waged a shadowy war against the Nazis, and somehow navigate his way through France, over the Pyrenees Mountains, across Spain's vast heartland to, finally, find his way to safety at the British base on The Rock of Gibraltar; that's over a thousand miles of hostile territory. In "The Lost Airman" author Seth Meyerowitz has brought Sargent Meyerowitz's amazing odyssey to vivid life. For Seth this book was a real labor of love that sheds light onto the unknown details of his grandfather's epic journey. In order to get the facts needed for such an undertaking Seth, his father Mark, and co-author Peter F. Stevens journeyed to present day France and Spain, to see the country and meet the descendants of the Resistance fighters that aided the downed airman. It turns out that Sargent Arthur Meyerowitz was remembered, and much loved, by many of the locals. Using personal letters, official documents and memories passed down over three generations the authors did extensive research and were able to build a detailed time line on this part of Arthur's life. Along his way Arthur would meet many people who would risk their lives to foil Nazi plans and aid the stranded American; special agent Marcel Taillandier known as "Ricardo", Andres Fontes and Lilli Camboville and a host of others in both France and Spain. Be sure to read the author's Foreword, Prologue and Epilogue for incites into Seth's motivation and research methods. Although this is a history book it is not a history "text-book", it's written more like war time thriller filled with suspense, hair breadth escapes and terrifying capture. While in France and Spain, Seth, his father Mark and co-author Peter would make new friends and lasting relationships with the wonderful people of the Iberian Peninsula. Seth and Mark would also discover hidden aspects of Arthur's life that they never knew before and three generations of Meyerowitz's would form a family bond that previously had been lacking. As much as I enjoyed this book I did have some negative issues with this Hard Bound Edition: First and foremost there was no Cross Referenced Index that would have made looking up the many people, places and events easer to go back to for future reference. While there is one excellent map tracing the Sargent's Journey the book could have used several more to spotlight the various regions and cities mentioned. On the plus side there are many archival photos of the people involved with one or two shots from the author's collection. When I saw this book at the library something about it intrigued me so, on impulse, I checked it out, I'm so glad I did because it's a wonderful read and one that I'll be adding to my Kindle library.Last Ranger

  • Graham
    2018-12-09 12:13

    The Lost Airman was about Arthur Meyerowitz who was shot down over Nazi controlled France during World War II. Arthur was fond by the French Resistance and was brought to Toulouse. He was given the fake identity of George Lambert who was supposedly deaf, mute and dumb. Arthur was allowed to walk around Toulouse unlike some other airman. At one point it was discovered that he was not a deaf mute and he was taken by the Gestapo. One of the Resistance Agents undercover in the Gestapo got him out after heavy torture. The Resistance then moved him to Spain over the Pyrenees Mountains. Once he was in Spain he was moved by a fisherman's boat to British controlled Africa prior to going home.

  • George
    2018-12-05 07:13

    Interesting story. Americans know so little about the deprivations of the conquored people of Europe and the bravery shown in the face of such brutality to help our downed airmen

  • Remko
    2018-12-09 09:00

    Nederlands boek recensieDe vermiste boordschutterIk kreeg op school de opdracht om boeken te lezen en een recensie er van te maken. Omdat ik zelf geen boek wist heb een klasgenoot die veel leest gevraagd om een boek voor me mee te nemen. Hij nam de vermiste boordschutter mee. De boorschutter is een verhaal over een man die deelneemt in de tweede wereldoorlog. Hij is een schutter aanboort van een vliegtuig. Dit genre spreek mij wel aan, tweede oorlog fascineert me altijd wel.Ik heb dit boek vier sterren gegeven, omdat dit boek gebaseerd is op een bestaand verhaal. Het boek is geschreven door een achterkleinkind van Arthur Meyerowitz, het boek is zo geschreven dat je echt door de ogen van Arthur Meyerowitz kijk, dit maakt het lezen super spannend. Je krijgt het verhaal van het begin tot einde mee opleiding tot gevechten, onderduiking/verdrukking en het Franse verzet maar ook de ontsnapping en het thuiskomen na de oorlog. Dit boek raad ik aan voor jongeren van 12 t/m 30 jaar. Het is een meeslepend verhaal over de oorlog daarentegen is het wel een lastig boek om te lezen, omdat er veel oorlog thermen worden gebruikt. Ook lees je het boek niet één twee drie uit je moet er wel tijd voor hebben.

  • John Kaufmann
    2018-12-10 10:05

    Decent. I really liked the first half of the book - it provided some background/context on the French Resistance, and some on the US/British air campaign against Germany. And it seemed like a pretty interesting story - of what the French Resistance was risking, some of the details about how they moved him around from hideout to hideout, etc. But then I started to lose interest. There were a number of comments about how strong and courageous Meyerowitz was, which seemed gratuitous. Also, there was no more context to provide, and the actual story lost a lot of detail and it started to seem a little weak. For example, their escape through the Pyrenee Mountains was pretty much "they climbed and hiked, they were chased, it was cold, they were shot at, and they finally got across the border by the hair of their 'chinny-chin-chins.'"First half of the book - 4 stars. Second half - 2 stars. Averaged that makes for a 3-star rating.