- Save 10% on selected children’s books, compliments of Amazon Family Promotion exclusive for Prime members .
- Also check our best rated Biography reviews
Dumb But Lucky: Confessions of a P-51 Fighter Pilot in World War II Mass Market Paperback – 15 Aug 2005
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Special offers and product promotions
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
" The strength of our democracy lies in the wide variety of leaders and heroes we produce at all levels. This story is a wonderful example!"
- Joseph S. Nye, Jr., dean of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and author of The Paradox of American Power
"The strength of our democracy lies in the wide variety of leaders and heroes we produce at all levels. This story is a wonderful example!"
-Joseph S. Nye, Jr., dean of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and author of The Paradox of American Power
From the Inside Flap
Second lieutenant Dick Curtis arrived in Italy in May 1944-twenty years old and part of a shipment of P-51 Mustang fighter pilots so desperately needed that they were rushed into combat with less than thirty hours of flight time in their new high-performance aircraft.
Six of the twelve pilots assigned to the 52nd Fighter Group were shot down in the first two weeks. By his ninth mission, Curtis was the only one still flying. A maverick, he barely escaped court-martial with his high-flying antics. Escorting bombers sent to pound heavily defended oil fields was risky enough, but strafing the enemy supply lines, ports, and airfields was even more dangerous. Curtis may chalk up his success to dumb luck, but these missions took exceptional skill and courage. This hair-raising account captures the air war in all its split-second terror and adrenaline-pumping action.
Top customer reviews
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Lt Curtis arrived in the Italian Theater in Spring 1944. He was part of a detachment of replacement flyers sent to the front with a shocking lack of training. He had never before flown in a P 51 nor had he any real training in combat flying. Within a matter of weeks he would be the last of his group of 12 to still be flying and being lucky he is alive to tell his story.
Arriving when he did most of the air war was over. His theater while more active than Europe would be, at least until the Normandy Invasion, was one wherein dogfighting with German’s would be rare. This is not to say he was never in danger or that his contributions are any less praiseworthy. He returns home having earned combat medals such that that there can be no question of his honor or right to respect.
What is most praiseworthy about Dumb but Lucky is neither the constant self-depreciation practiced by the author nor the open way he speaks of his love for his soon to be wife and growing commitment to his Christianity. What Richard Curtin does best is to remind the reader that war is not a matter of glamour of heroics. It is about day to day boredom, the stress of the time in combat and yes even the wear on a pilot’s bladder and bottom.
What comes across is his love of flying, his motivation for revenge as well as his need to earn the respect of people, at home and in the unit. Yes he has a taste for hijinks. He can be blind about some of the unnecessary risks he takes. At some point one might think he would relate this attitude with the need for a fighter pilot to have some tendency to be reckless.
Dumb but Lucky conveys an honest personal recollection of this man’s war. The man deserves a respectful hearing.
For all of this I cannot recommend this book as one of the better oral histories of WWII. It is a good antidote for war as a glorious crusade but there is not much more to recommend it. Warriors know that much of their time is spent fight boredom and isolation. Readers can have a limits for how much this reality might be enjoyed vicariously.
Look for similar items by category
- Books > Biography > Historical > 1901 Onwards
- Books > Biography > Historical > United States
- Books > Biography > Political > United States
- Books > Biography > War & Espionage > Air Force
- Books > Biography > War & Espionage > World War II
- Books > History > Americas > United States
- Books > History > Military History > Armed Forces > Air Forces
- Books > History > Military History > Veterans
- Books > History > Military History > World War II 1939-1945 > Biographies & Memoirs
- Books > History > Military History > World War II 1939-1945 > Origins
- Books > History > World History