Valor, Guts, and Luck : A B-17 Tailgunner's Survival Story During World War II, Hardback Book

Valor, Guts, and Luck : A B-17 Tailgunner's Survival Story During World War II Hardback


During the Second World War, a B-17 tailgunner's odds of surviving the 25 missions necessary before he could return home was 26 percent.

Facing this lamentable one-in-four survival probability, Staff Sergeant Lowell "Slats" Slayton beat the odds.

In Valor, Guts, and Luck, William L. Smallwood shares Slats' dramatic experience. An underprivileged kid from Valley City, North Dakota, Slats was a high-school senior the day the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.

Uncle Sam's pointing finger drew him not to the Army, but instead to the glamour of the "wild blue yonder" made famous by newsreels featuring Charles Lindbergh, Jimmy Doolittle, and other popular flyers of the day.

He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force and eventually found himself on an ill-fated mission to the main FW-190 assembly plant in Oschersleben, Germany, in an attempt to destroy the German Luftwaffe as part of the Big Week offensive undertaken by Allied forces in February 1944.

On this mission, Slats' 13th, he crash-landed in Germany and became a prisoner-of-war.

As a POW, Slats endured horrific experiences and conditions until finally, near-death, he escaped his captors and reached safety.

Through Slats' recollections, Smallwood offers readers a riveting perspective on aerial combat and the dignity of one man's life.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Potomac Books Inc
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Biography: general
  • ISBN: 9781612346922


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