Author: John R. Bruning
Goodreads synopsis: “In this remarkable WWII story by New York Times bestselling author John R. Bruning, a renegade American pilot fights against all odds to rescue his family–imprisoned by the Japanese–and revolutionizes modern warfare along the way.
From the knife fights and smuggling runs of his youth to his fiery days as a pioneering naval aviator, Paul Irving “Pappy” Gunn played by his own set of rules and always survived on his wits and fists. But when he fell for a conservative Southern belle, her love transformed him from a wild and reckless airman to a cunning entrepreneur whose homespun engineering brilliance helped launch one of the first airlines in Asia.
Pappy was drafted into MacArthur’s air force when war came to the Philippines; and while he carried out a top-secret mission to Australia, the Japanese seized his family. Separated from his beloved wife, Polly, and their four children, Pappy reverted to his lawless ways. He carried out rescue missions with an almost suicidal desperation. Even after he was shot down twice and forced to withdraw to Australia, he waged a one-man war against his many enemies–including the American high command and the Japanese–and fought to return to the Philippines to find his family.
Without adequate planes, supplies, or tactics, the U.S. Army Air Force suffered crushing defeats by the Japanese in the Pacific. Over the course of his three-year quest to find his family, Pappy became the renegade who changed all that. With a brace of pistols and small band of loyal fol,lowers, he robbed supply dumps, stole aircraft, invented new weapons, and modified bombers to hit harder, fly farther, and deliver more destruction than anything yet seen in the air. When Pappy’s modified planes were finally unleashed during the Battle of the Bismarck Sea, the United States scored one of the most decisive victories of World War II.
Taking readers from the blistering skies of the Pacific to the jungles of New Guinea and the Philippines to one of the the war’s most notorious prison camps, Indestructible traces one man’s bare-knuckle journey to free the people he loved and the aerial revolution he sparked that continues to resonate across America’s modern battlefields.”
Review: This is a very interesting true story about P.I., Pappy, Gunn and his involvement in WWII. This was a way more interesting way to learn more about WWII than any history book I had to read in school. To make this easier to understand and follow there is a section of maps in the beginning of the book with important points noted on them. For someone not familiar with the Philippines or that area, having maps to reference was invaluable. Having pictures in the middle also made this story, and the people, more relatable and made it much easier to imagine the story line.
This story is so unbelievable that many times I had to remind myself that it is real and that Pappy Gunn really did all these incredible things.
There were a few issues I had with this book, however. The start was quite slow for me. It took a while before I got really into it. I actually put it down to read some of my other books because I would find myself finding excuses not to read. After I picked it back up and made myself power through, it did get better and much more interesting. I also felt that at times the author repeated himself and shifted the story so I got confused from time to time. I feel that this book could have been much shorter if some parts had been cut out that really weren’t necessary, and if parts weren’t repeated.
Recommendation: Overall, this was a very good book and I would recommend this to anyone who has an interest in history. This is a story you won’t soon forget.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, no review was required. All opinions are my own.*