81 Days Below Zero: The Incredible Survival Story of a World War II Pilot in Alaska's Frozen Wilderness

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Da Capo Press, Jun 2, 2015 - Biography & Autobiography - 264 pages
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"A riveting...saga of survival against formidable odds" (Washington Post) about one man who survived a World War II plane crash in Alaska's harsh Yukon territory
Shortly before Christmas in 1943, five Army aviators left Alaska's Ladd Field on a routine flight to test their hastily retrofitted B-24 Liberator in harsh winter conditions. The mission ended in a crash that claimed all but one-Leon Crane, a city kid from Philadelphia with no wilderness experience. With little more than a parachute for cover and an old Boy Scout knife in his pocket, Crane now found himself alone in subzero temperatures. Crane knew, as did the Ladd Field crews who searched unsuccessfully for the crash site, that his chance of survival dropped swiftly with each passing day.

But Crane did find a way to stay alive in the grip of the Yukon winter for nearly twelve weeks and, amazingly, walked out of the ordeal intact.

81 Days Below Zero recounts, for the first time, the full story of Crane's remarkable saga. In a drama of staggering resolve and moments of phenomenal luck, Crane learned to survive in the Yukon's unforgiving wilds. His is a tale of the capacity to endure extreme conditions, intense loneliness, and flashes of raw terror-and emerge stronger than before.
 

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User Review  - jamespurcell - LibraryThing

Interesting,but thin, story about a kid from West Philly surviving in an Alaskan winter. Lots of background about airplanes, flying and surviving in this very cold world. Read full review

81 DAYS BELOW ZERO: The Incredible Survival Story of a World War II Pilot in Alaska's Frozen Wilderness

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A reporter for the Washington Post debuts with the forgotten story of a pilot whose B-24 crashed near the Charley River in some of Alaska's most remote territory in December 1943. At the outset ... Read full review

Contents

INTRODUCTION
1
ONE
5
TWO
27
THREE
37
FOUR
53
FIVE
61
SIX
73
SEVEN
87
THIRTEEN
153
FOURTEEN
165
FIFTEEN
171
SIXTEEN
177
SEVENTEEN
185
EIGHTEEN
193
NINETEEN
199
TWENTY
207

EIGHT
97
NINE
109
TEN
115
ELEVEN
129
TWELVE
139
EPILOGUE
213
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
219
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY AND SOURCES
221
INDEX
227
Copyright

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About the author (2015)

Brian Murphy, a journalist and author, has reported around the world for The Associated Press for more than twenty years. He joined the Washington Post in 2014 and lives in Athens, Greece.

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