• Lightning Down

  • A World War II Story of Survival
  • By: Tom Clavin
  • Narrated by: George Newbern
  • Length: 8 hrs and 28 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (207 ratings)

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Lightning Down  By  cover art

Lightning Down

By: Tom Clavin
Narrated by: George Newbern
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Publisher's Summary

An American fighter pilot doomed to die in Buchenwald but determined to survive.

On August 13, 1944, Joe Moser set off on his forty-fourth combat mission over occupied France. Soon, he would join almost 170 other Allied airmen as prisoners in Buchenwald, one of the most notorious and deadly of Nazi concentration camps. Tom Clavin's Lightning Down tells this largely untold and riveting true story.

Moser was just twenty-two years old, a farm boy from Washington State who fell in love with flying. During the War he realized his dream of piloting a P-38 Lightning, one of the most effective weapons the Army Air Corps had against the powerful German Luftwaffe. But on that hot August morning he had to bail out of his damaged, burning plane. Captured immediately, Moser’s journey into hell began.

Moser and his courageous comrades from England, Canada, New Zealand, and elsewhere endured the most horrific conditions during their imprisonment... until the day the orders were issued by Hitler himself to execute them. Only a most desperate plan would save them.

The pause-resisting momentum of Lightning Down is like that of a thriller, but the stories of imprisoned and brutalized airmen are true and told in unforgettable detail, led by the distinctly American voice of Joe Moser, who prays every day to be reunited with his family.

Lightning Down is a can’t-put-it-down inspiring saga of brave men confronting great evil and great odds against survival.

A Macmillan Audio production from St. Martin's Press.

©2021 Tom Clavin (P)2021 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about Lightning Down

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  • Overall
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This book will make you understand how much ch our freedom costs

Well written and researched, the details wrapped around you in a time warp of what life was line during this critical time of our nation and the world.
Today few people really understand the sacrifices and terrible conditions faced by victims and survivors of this concentration camps.
Understanding how these brave people survived and prosperous in later years, not becoming victims but humble loving people.
Read as well as listen to the book, I encourage you to watch the documentaries referred to in the epilogue

7 people found this helpful

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  • AC
  • 11-27-21

Thank you, Joe...and your friends, young French farmers and German pilots.

All of you were the 'greatest generation' because you took care of each other, respected truth, cared deeply for humanity, that life is worth living.

5 people found this helpful

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it's like listening to Wikipedia

not too much of a story, but more a time log filled with Wikipedia on WWII planes. u can hear George sigh while reading some of the plane specs.

3 people found this helpful

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Lightning Down

We listened to this book on a week long driving vacation. It’s a heart felt history
narrated well by George Newburn.

3 people found this helpful

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A Story That Should Be Read Or Heard by ALL

This accounting of one mans life , the heroics and courage of countless others , and the inhumanity of Nazi Germany and it’s soldiers should be read by everyone who values freedom and it’s price.
It was heartwarming, gut wrenching , shocking and so revealing of events and people we’re mostly unaware of but need to know about!

3 people found this helpful

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Great retelling

The things the men of WWII endured always leave me in awe of the human spirit to fight and survive. Very well written and read. Tom Clavin has become a favorite author.

3 people found this helpful

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What freedom in America truly means

This book should be mandatory reading for all high school students in the USA. Incredibly moving story.

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lightning down

enjoyed this book. excellent narrator. I recommend this book to readers of WW11 true stories and fiction.

2 people found this helpful

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THE GREATEST GENERATION

we should never forget the sacrifices our veterans have given for their country. God Bless them all and thank you.

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Unbelievably believable - a true American Hero

This detailed, personal experience of a P38 pilot has left this reader amazed, appalled, joyful and satisfied. I developed a personal connection with Joe - his experience had me on a knifes edge. His desperate fight to survive was compelling. I was amazed at the confluence of events that enabled Joe and the other fliers to survive.
On several instances I felt the visceral response of fury, pride and then joy. This varied emotional response indicates how unbelievable believable this story really is.
It is one of my favorite books - I couldn’t stop listening and will listen to it again. What a great investment of time.
I look forward to finding and watching The Lost Airman of Buchenwald.