This little-known WWII story introduces a renegade pilot whose personal mission to rescue his family from a POW camp changed modern air warfare forever.
December 1941: Manila is invaded, and US citizen and Philippines Airlines manager Pappy Gunn is ordered to fly key military command out of the country, leaving his family at home. So Gunn was miles away when the Japanese captured his wife and children, placing them in an internment camp where they faced disease, abuse, and starvation.
Gunn spent three years trying to rescue them. His exploits became legend as he revolutionized the art of air warfare, 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.
©2016 John R. Bruning (P)2016 Hachette Audio
"Set against the sprawling and violent Pacific War, Indestructible is the incredible story of one man's courage, tenacity and dogged fight to rescue his family caught behind enemy lines. The book left me with chills." (James M. Scott, author of Target Tokyo: Jimmy Doolittle and the Raid That Avenged Pearl Harbor)
"This thriller-like narrative not only reveals the disturbing plight of courageous American families held in Japanese internment camps, but also delivers a gripping portrait of a uniquely American hero, Pappy Gunn, who fought two wars - one for his country and one to rescue his wife and children." (James Bradley, best-selling author of Flags of Our Fathers, Flyboys, The Imperial Cruise, and The China Mirage)
"From the opening pages, Bruning grabs you by the collar and pulls you into the story, not letting go as he masterfully guides you through a part of World War II that is largely unknown. This is the work of a skilled wordsmith who knows how to tell a story." (Gregory A. Freeman, author of The Forgotten 500)
The incredible drive and creativity of P. I. "Pappy" Gunn and the narrative of a modern thriller have been skillfully woven into a book that is impossible to put down. From the first page to the end note, it is a fascinating and compelling read. I recommend this book without reservation.
While the audio does not have the maps and other information, the story comes through loud and clear.
Pappy Gunn dominated the story, as he should. It is his story. His feats of daring and airmanship are documented well in the story, and the author freely admits that what is myth and legend may be hard to separate from fact. But the story is simply riveting.
Brian was able to read the book without choking up, which I would have had trouble with. I had to dry my eyes more than once learning about the depredations that the Gunn family suffered in Santo Thomas. Having attended high school in the Philippines the setting was far more real to me than perhaps it would have been to other readers. Brian made the story come alive.
I had to ration this book, a few chapters every day, because otherwise I would have not gotten any work done over the week it took me to listen to the book. Bruning has done an exceptional job with this story, and I will be looking for other books from him because he is a master storyteller.
The best reason to get this book is to experience through the eyes of the author what real dedication and suffering look like. A man's allegiance to his orders at the cost of his own family, a family's willingness to hang together through an internment that cost them 40% of their body weight. It is good that the Battle of the Bismarck Sea comes earlier in the book than the full descriptions of the conditions at Santo Thomas. This book left me amazed that Japan could be forgiven after what it did to the innocents.
This book wastes so much time describing non-sequiturs. It's exhausting. And it uses every little cliche to demonstrate that our hero is a family man, a loving husband of a beautiful wife, and wonderful kids, etc... It feels like a fairy tale written for children.
In general this book was not well written. It did not have enough action to carry it through the numerous slow spots. The subject matter could have been interesting, but the main character was made into a cartoon figure. The narration was about as weak as I've experienced since becoming a member; but even a good narrator could not have saved this story. I almost quit listening 2-3 different times.
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