One Man's Rescue Mission That Changed the Course of WWII
By John R. Bruning
A remarkable, untold WWII story: INDESTRUCTIBLE is an against-all-odds tale of a renegade pilot consumed by his personal mission to rescue his family in time of war--and who happened to change its very course along the way.
When hostilities erupted in December 1941, Pappy Gunn was living in Manila with his family, working as a manager for Philippine Airlines. Unfortunately, when the Japanese finally marched on Manila the Air Force ordered him to fly key Army Air Force personnel out of the country. The order left him with the most important decision of his life, for he was already preparing to fly his family to safety. Whom would he take first?
Unbeknownst to Pappy, MacArthur's staff deceived him by telling him he had time to do both. While he took off from Manila with his plane full of VIP's, the Japanese captured his wife and four children. Throwing them into the infamous Santo Tomas Internment camp, Pappy's family suffered through abuse, privation, disease and starvation.
Betrayed by his own high command, and driven by guilt, fury and devotion to his family, Pappy Gunn spent the next three years trying to rescue his loved ones. His exploits became legend: He flew four times the number of combat missions of men half his age, extracting spies, sinking enemy ships, and building airfields under the nose of the Japanese. He revolutionized the art of air warfare in the process by devising his own weaponry, missions, and combat strategies. By the end of the war, Pappy's ingenuity and flair for innovation helped transform MacArthur's air force into the scourge of the Pacific.
John R. Bruning is the author or collaborating writer of a number of nonfiction books, including the critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller Outlaw Platoon (Morrow) written with Sean Parnell, Shadow of the Sword with Jeremiah Workman (Ballantine), How to Break a Terrorist with Matthew Alexander (Free Press), House to House with David Bellavia (Free Press), The Devil's Sandbox (Zenith), and Ghost: Confessions of a Counterterrorism Agent with Fred Burton (Random House, a New York Times expanded list bestseller). Bruning is well-traveled as an embedded combat correspondent. For his reporting in Afghanistan, the Department of Defense presented him with a prestigious 2010 Thomas Jefferson Award. For his work with the Oregon National Guard, he was inducted into the 162nd Infantry Regiment in September 2011 as an honorary member. John lives in Independence, Oregon, and has two children.
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- Publication date:
25 May 2017
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