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Publisher's Summary

From the authors of the New York Times best-selling The Heart of Everything That Is and Halsey's Typhoon comes the dramatic untold story of a daredevil bomber pilot and his misfit crew who fly their lone B-17 into the teeth of the Japanese Empire in 1943, engage in the longest dogfight in history, and change the momentum of the war in the Pacific - but not without making the ultimate sacrifice.
It is 1942, the Japanese war machine has rolled up nearly all of the Pacific Theater, and American forces are clinging to what little unconquered territory remains. While US Marines claw their way across Guadalcanal, small contingents of US Army airmen make their way to the lonely, embattled Allied airbase on Papua New Guinea. Their mission: to defend Australia from invasion, harass Japanese supply lines, fly perilous bombing missions over enemy-held strongholds, and make reconnaissance runs to provide intelligence for America's nascent island-hopping campaign.
Among these men are pilot Captain Jay Zeamer and bombardier Sergeant Joseph Raymond Sarnoski, whose swashbuckling reputations precede them. Zeamer, who cannot convince his superiors to give him his own plane, teams up with Sarnoski to recruit a crew of fellow misfits to rebuild a dilapidated B-17 bomber from spare parts in the base's junkyard. They christen the plane Old 666, naming it from its tail identification numbers. In June 1943, Zeamer and Sarnoski and their crew volunteer for a 1,200 mile suicide mission into the heart of the Japanese Empire that may well change the course of the war - but that only one of the two friends will survive.
In Lucky 666, Drury and Clavin bring to vivid life one of the last great untold stories of World War II. Featuring personal letters, diaries, US Army Air Force after-action reports, even the translated Japanese Imperial Air Force's official account of the longest dogfight in history, Lucky 666 is a tale of friendship, heroism, and sacrifice set against the horrific backdrop of vicious aerial warfare, wounded crewmates, and a white-knuckle emergency landing in the jungles of New Guinea - a must-listen for anyone who loves pulse-pounding narrative nonfiction.
©2016 Bob Drury and Tom Clavin. All rights reserved. (P)2016 Simon & Schuster
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Customer Reviews

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By Count B on 07-10-17


Any additional comments?

There is no doubt at all these gentleman were beyond brave, & still as of this day remain the flight crew who have been awarded the highest medals of any combat crew.

So why am I disappointed. Well, the righting is very good as is the narration, but the first half of the book basically outlines the history of the war in the Pacific, I felt that detracts from keeping the focus of these stunningly brave men.

After all the war in the Pacific went on for many years & involves many islands so it seems rushed to try & include the entire history of it in such a short book. The background story is relevant to the main characters stories, but would have much rather the author go into so much more depth about the combat crew as they are the heroes, & the story should be focused more on them.

It could also be that their real feat of staggering bravery is encapsulated in one single stunning mission. So maybe it was just a case of padding the book out a little by including a broad view of the war in the Pacific.

It is good, but I would recommend, "Unbreakable" or "A Higher Call". Those two focus only on the main characters & do not get bogged down with to much overview of the entire war. They are fantastic books & cannot recommend enough.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

By Greg Hansen on 05-08-17


This is a great story about some truly great men. There is never really a down period in the story so it kept me interested the entire time & then seemed to end way too fast. I will definitely be looking more into this subject. The performance was also very good. I listened to a lot of books that are good & interesting but find myself totally bored with the narration. That was not the case at all with this book.

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4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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By Charles Nichols on 06-04-17

History is the most inportant thing we have.

If you could sum up Lucky 666 in three words, what would they be?

God Bless Them.

Who was your favorite character and why?

My favorite character. The whole crew of course! Why, few generals stood tow to tow with the enemy and in the end who wins wars.

What does Jeremy Bobb bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Jeremy makes me think of the little guy, the guy that won the war. The men and woman that fought or worked for the common goal. PEACE.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Even misfits will fight for peace. Why isn't this a move yet!

Any additional comments?

IF we could only remember to stop and think before we act. History is the lesson there for us to learn by. But still we just can't get along.

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By BookFan on 05-22-17


Epic story of the underdogs who made history.
I listened to the Authors on the History of WWII podcast and the book was as good as they promised.
Well worth a listen.

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