On November 18, 1944, American co-pilot Lieutenant Lee Lamar struggled alongside pilot Randall Darden to keep Bottoms Up, their B-24J Liberator, in the air. The aircraft had been staggered by an anti-aircraft shell—and, despite a near-recovery, they were hit once more by German fire over Pula, in what is now Croatia. Lamar bailed out, but was captured the next day and spent the rest of the war as a prisoner at a Stalag on the Baltic Sea. He never saw most of his crew again.
In 2006, more than sixty years later, Lamar received an email from Croatian archaeologist Luka Bekic who had discovered the wreckage of Bottoms Up and was compelled to learn the crew’s identities and fates. Lamar had never reconciled himself to the events of that November day—but, nearly a year after being contacted by Bekic, he visited the site, hoping to gain closure, and met the Croatian Partisans who had helped some members of his crew escape.
In The Final Mission of Bottoms Up, Dennis R. Okerstrom tells the story of the young men who flew the doomed aircraft, of Lamar’s trip back to the scene of his recurring nightmare, and of a remarkable convergence of international courage, perseverance, and friendship.
Hardcover Book : 272 pages
Publisher: University Of Missouri Press ( October 01, 2011 )
Item #: 13-476876
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 inches
Product Weight: 12.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)