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Escape from Paris
A True Story of Love and Resistance in Wartime France
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This thrilling wartime adventure tells the true story of the downed American aviators who were rescued by French resistance fighters, taken to Nazi-occupied Paris, and hidden under the very noses of the Gestapo.
Escape from Paris is the true story of a small group of U.S. aviators whose four B-17 Flying Fortresses were shot down over German-occupied France on a single, fateful day: July 14, 1943, Bastille Day. They were rescued by brave French civilians and taken to Paris for eventual escape out of France. In the French capital, where German troops walked on every street and Gestapo agents hid around every corner, the flyers met a brave Parisian resistance family living and working in the Hôtel des Invalides, a complex of buildings and military memorials, where Nazi officials had set up offices. Hidden in the complex the Americans, along with dozens of other downed Allied pilots and resistance operatives, hatched daring escape plots. The danger of discovery by the Nazis grew every day, as did an unlikely romance when one of the American airmen begins a star-crossed wartime romance with the twenty-two-year old daughter of the family sheltering him—a noir tale of war, courage and desperation in the shadows of the City of Light.
Based on official American, French, and German documents, histories, personal memoirs, and the author's interviews with several of the story's key participants, Escape from Paris crosses the traditional lines of World War II history with tense drama of air combat over Europe, the intrigue of occupied Paris, and courageous American and Allied pilots and French resistance fighters pitted against Nazi thugs. All of this set in one of the world's most beautiful and captivating cities.
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A GUY NAMED JOE
JOE CORNWALL’S PRESENCE IN THE DANGEROUS SKIES ABOVE OCCUPIED France on Bastille Day 1943 was the direct result of a decision he’d made two and a half years earlier. On November 27, 1940—fourteen months after the outbreak of World War II and two months after the enactment of the Selective Training and Service Act launched the first peacetime draft in American history—the young man walked into a recruiting station in Tacoma, Washington, and enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps.1
Then a few months shy of his twenty-sixth birthday, Joe’s decision to join up was in large part a pragmatic one. He was in good health, unmarried, and certain to get drafted, and he was convinced that the United States would soon become an active participant in the war that had been convulsing Europe since September 1939. He hoped that by volunteering he would have some say in how he’d spend what promised to be at least a few years in uniform, and assumed that flying would be a better way to go to war than walking. He’d always been interested in aviation, but had neither the education nor the desire to be a pilot, navigator, or bombardier. And while Joe was mechanically adept and good with machines, the possibility of spending years in oil-stained coveralls tinkering with balky aircraft engines in some drafty hangar struck him as both boring and decidedly less than heroic. The recruiter suggested that Joe might do well as an aerial gunner—a job title that hinted at a high-flying and adventurous way to do one’s patriotic duty, but still promised a good meal and a warm bed at the end of the day instead of cold rations and a soggy blanket in a remote foxhole surrounded by Germans. It seemed a logical choice, and Joe happily signed on the dotted line.
But while enlisting in the Air Corps was an act both patriotic and practical, it was also something much more personal and necessary for Joe Cornwall. It was a means of escape.
JOSEPH ELLISON CORNWALL WAS BORN JULY 5, 1915, IN ELLENSBURG, Washington, a growing community in the Kittitas Valley just east of the rugged Cascade Range. The third child and second son of Frank and Grace Cornwall, Joe came into the world a few weeks earlier than expected, though without any complications. His safe arrival undoubtedly pleased his parents, but it did little to bridge the ever-widening gaps in their five-year marriage.
Just nineteen at the time of Joe’s birth, Grace Elizabeth Cornwall had not had an easy life. A native of East Kittitas, a small farming community some six miles southeast of Ellensburg, Grace and her younger brother, Alexander, had been raised by their mother, Mary Jane Campbell. Her husband, Marion S. Campbell, had only been an occasional presence in the family home, and by the time Grace celebrated her tenth birthday her father was little more than a hazy memory. As a single mother trying to run a farm and make a living in what was still very much a male-dominated society, the redoubtable Mary Jane—known since childhood as Mollie—took to signing all important papers as “M.S. Campbell.” This small subterfuge was undoubtedly meant to persuade people that her absent husband, Marion, was still part of the family.2
Running the small family farm in East Kittitas required more effort than a single mother and two children could handle by themselves, so in 1908 Mollie hired two local young people to help out. Twenty-one-year old Clara Pewees did the cooking and other household chores, while twenty-two-year-old Frank Cornwall helped Mollie in the fields and handled any other necessary heavy chores. Though born in Canada, Frank had come to Washington as a child with his extended family, and the Cornwall clan was widely known and greatly respected in the Kittitas Valley.
Unfortunately, Frank Cornwall seems to have overstepped the bounds of his employment. On Friday, July 1, 1910, the twenty-four-year-old took out a marriage license at the Kittitas County courthouse. Five days later in a civil ceremony held in the same building, Frank married Grace, whose age on the license was given as eighteen. She was, in fact, not yet fifteen. While it is entirely possible that the marriage was a love match, some five months after the wedding Grace was admitted to the Ellensburg hospital for what, in retrospect, appears to have been treatment for a miscarriage.
Whatever the origins of their union, Frank and Grace Cornwall stayed together and over the following five years had a daughter, Elva, and Francis, their first son. By the time of Joe’s birth in 1915 his parents’ marriage was on rough ground, and it continued to deteriorate during the first few years of his life. For reasons that remain unclear, in 1919 Grace sent her two older children to live with their grandmother, Mollie, who by that time was farming a plot of land in East Wenatchee, some forty miles northeast of Ellensburg. Joe stayed with his parents until their divorce in 1920, and thereafter lived with his mother, grandmother, and siblings in Wenatchee—but with occasional visits to his father’s new home in Yakima. Frank Cornwall eventually remarried and had a son, Earl Ray Cornwall, and by 1930 Joe and his older brother Francis—by then also known as Frank—were living with their father, stepmother, and stepbrother in Yakima. Both older sons attended Yakima High School, and by the time Joe graduated in 1934 he’d earned a reputation as something of a ladies’ man. Five feet eight inches tall, solidly built, with brown hair, piercing blue eyes, and an infectious sense of humor, Joe never had trouble securing a date for the school dances.
After high school Joe spent six years working at odd jobs around Washington. It seems he was looking for adventure as well as income, for his work included time on both a logging crew and on a Seattle-based fishing boat. The latter position gave him the occasional opportunity to visit his mother, who in early 1939 had moved to Juneau, Alaska, to manage the hair salon in one of the territorial capital’s hotels. By early 1940 Joe had left the adventurous life behind and was working on his grandmother Mollie’s farm in Wenatchee. It appears he sought out the solitude of farm life to help heal a broken heart, though the details of the relationship are lost to history. Mollie, now in her early sixties, was just glad to have her grandson’s help. The two got along well, and when not tending to the crops or mending equipment Joe would listen to war news on the radio or hunt quail in the nearby grasslands.
Frank Cornwall had taught each of his sons to wing shoot when they were young, and by Joe’s early teens his eye-hand coordination was excellent and he could handle a shotgun as though it were an extension of his arm. Without conscious thought he could estimate a fast-moving game bird’s speed, direction of flight, and relative distance, effortlessly leading his target and pulling the trigger at the exact moment needed to put bird shot and his elusive quarry in the same small piece of sky at the same moment. Joe rarely missed, and just as rarely gave any thought to how unusual his talent was. But on hearing about the young man’s wing-shooting experience, the Air Corps recruiter in Tacoma undoubtedly knew he was dealing with a born aerial gunner.
Joe underwent initial basic recruit training at McChord Field, south of Tacoma, after which he was assigned to the station’s 44th Air Base Group. Somewhat to his own surprise, the young man discovered that he enjoyed the structure and predictability of Air Corps life. The camaraderie and feeling that he was a member of an elite organization were especially important to him, and his occasional familiarization flights on the Douglas B-18 medium bombers that undertook coastal patrols out of McChord whetted his appetite for more time in the air.
In late May 1941 a vacancy finally opened in the school that would transform Joe’s lifelong wing-shooting hobby into a deadly wartime skill, and on June 1 he boarded a train in Seattle, bound for Colorado.
IN 1938 LOWRY ARMY AIRFIELD HAD BEEN ESTABLISHED ON THE GROUNDS of a former tuberculosis hospital in Aurora, and by the summer of 1941 the base was home to the Denver Branch of the Air Corps Technical School.3 That institution consisted of two departments; one trained still and motion-picture photographers, while the other produced armament specialists. Joe reported to the latter school on June 3, 1941, because the aptitude tests he’d taken during basic training indicated that he would excel as what the Air Corps termed a “career gunner.” While individuals so designated would man guns during combat missions, they received additional technical training that enabled them to also serve as airplane mechanics, radio operators, or armorers. Joe was slotted into the third track, and spent five months learning all there was to know about the offensive and defensive systems employed on each type of bombardment aircraft in the Army inventory. The training began with the operation and maintenance of .30- and .50-caliber machine guns and 20mm and 37mm aircraft cannons. Instruction then moved on to fuzing and maintaining aerial bombs, loading and unloading them on aircraft, and maintaining and repairing bomb racks, bomb bays, and power-operated gun turrets.
Joe completed his course on November 28, 1941, and was awarded the Military Occupational Specialty code 911, Airplane Armorer. As proud as he was of his accomplishment, he was eager to move on to what he considered to be the more important part of his training—the aerial gunnery course. The instruction was given at several bases around the United States, and Joe was initially scheduled to join the first class to be trained at the newly opened Las Vegas Army Airfield. The December 7, 1941, Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor put his plans on hold; in the wake of America’s declaration of war against the Axis powers, the majority of Lowry’s Armament Department instructors were hastily transferred to combat units. Joe and other top graduates of the armorer’s course were of necessity selected to stay on as instructors—for a period that was initially described to them as “indefinite.”
Being held at Lowry was a frustrating development for Joe and his classmates. They were eager to get into the war they all assumed America would win in short order. But the needs of the service came first, which in Joe’s case meant that he spent nearly a year as an instructor at the technical school, watching his students graduate and move on while he himself seemed destined to spend the entire war in Colorado.
Joe’s enforced stay at Lowry did have one positive aspect, however. Though the exact timing isn’t clear, at some point Joe met Clara Kathryn Gypin, a twenty-seven-year-old mother of two young boys. Her husband, thirty-five-year-old Jesse Gypin Sr., was an Army sergeant undergoing treatment for tuberculosis at Fitzsimons Army Hospital in Aurora, just over three miles from Lowry Field. Though Clara had followed her husband to Colorado from their previous duty station at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, their marriage had been in trouble for some time. When Joe met Clara she was in the process of divorcing Jesse Gypin, and she and Joe soon formed a close relationship. Though certainly emotionally involved, they—like many couples during the war—were necessarily pragmatic and did not make long-term plans. They both knew that Joe could be sent overseas at any moment, and Joe made no secret of his desire to “get into the fight.” Clara understood Joe’s point of view—she had already been an Army wife and knew that well-trained soldiers all want to put their skills to the ultimate test—but she also had two sons to think about and did not want to marry someone who might well be dead within months of the wedding.
In the end, the fate of their relationship was decided for them, for in late October 1942 newly promoted Staff Sergeant Joe Cornwall finally received orders directing him to report to Las Vegas. Given that nearly all graduates of the Flexible Gunnery School were immediately sent to combat units overseas, the couple reluctantly decided to put their relationship on indefinite hold, pending Joe’s return from wherever the Army Air Forces ultimately sent him. In a gesture of support for a woman who obviously meant very much to him, before leaving Colorado and without telling Clara, Joe did something that was quite common for deploying service members in those early years of World War II—he changed the beneficiary on his GI life insurance. Until that time the sole beneficiary had been his mother, for 100 percent of the $1,500 payout should Joe die while on active duty. On the revised form he stipulated that Clara should receive 25 percent, and as Clara’s permanent address he gave that of her mother’s home near San Antonio, Texas. Changing his life insurance form was a heartfelt gesture on Joe’s part, but one that would soon result in widespread confusion and even erroneous newspaper stories.
A few days before the end of October Joe and Clara said goodbye at the Denver train station, unaware that both would undergo life-changing experiences before they saw each other again.
HOWEVER JOE MAY HAVE FELT ABOUT THE WAY HE AND CLARA PARTED company, over the six weeks he spent at the Flexible Gunnery School in Las Vegas he had a variety of other things to occupy his thoughts. In many ways the school struck Joe as a shortened and more simplified version of the armorer’s course—except, that is, for the actual hands-on firing of .30- and .50-caliber machine guns both on the ground and in the air. The young man’s shooting skills had not deserted him, and upon graduating near the top of his class in mid-November he proudly wore the silver wings of an aerial gunner.4
The whole purpose of Joe’s extensive training, of course, was to enable him to ultimately join the war effort overseas. He took the next step in that journey on November 28 in downtown Las Vegas, when he boarded a train for the overnight trip to Utah. His destination was the Combat Crew Replacement Pool at Salt Lake City Army Air Base. As its name suggests, the facility was where newly trained aviators—both officers and enlisted men—were brought together and formed into crews, primarily for B-17 Flying Fortress and B-24 Liberator bombers. Pilots and flight engineers arrived already trained in one of the aircraft types, but the remaining crew members—navigators, bombardiers, radio operators, and gunners—could be assigned to either machine. Joe’s training as an armorer-gunner had prepared him to operate and maintain the differing types of gun turrets and bombing equipment used on both of the Army Air Forces’ heavy bomber types, but having flown on several B-17s during his training at Lowry and Las Vegas, he preferred the elegant and famously sturdy Fortress to its slab-sided and purportedly less robust counterpart.
There was nothing very sophisticated about the way the men were assigned to a crew. On Monday, November 30—the day after his arrival at Salt Lake AAB—Joe joined almost a thousand other aviators in a large, hangar-like building, where those present were divided into groups based on their occupational specialties. Pilots, copilots, and enlisted flight engineer/top turret gunners type-rated in the B-17 stood at one end of the room, those rated in the B-24 at the other. Members of the replacement pool staff then simply went down the line of other occupational specialty groups, alternately assigning the men in them to either a B-17 or B-24 crew. Joe was mildly disappointed when he was pointed toward the Liberator group. As he walked up, an enlisted clerk asked his name and service number, noted both on a clipboard, then motioned Joe to join a knot of men standing beneath a small, handwritten sign bearing the word “Purdy.”
It was a name, of course, and it belonged to First Lieutenant Edward A. Purdy, a strapping twenty-six-year-old from Colorado who was the new crew’s pilot. After shaking hands with Joe, he turned and introduced the gunner to the four other aviators who would compose the bomber’s “front-office staff.” Three of the four were officers: Second Lieutenant Carroll T. Harris Jr., twenty-one, the copilot; First Lieutenant Charles W. Lichtenberger, twenty-five, the navigator; and First Lieutenant Edward B. Jones, twenty-seven, the bombardier. The fourth man, twenty-six-year-old Technical Sergeant Russell E. Crisp, was the flight engineer and top turret gunner. The five remaining crew members joined Purdy and the others over the next few minutes—Technical Sergeant Charles M. Sprague, twenty-six, radio operator/gunner; Staff Sergeant John W. Smith, twenty, the diminutive ball turret gunner; Staff Sergeant Lawrence H. Templeton, twenty-seven, tail gunner; and Technical Sergeant Francis J. Santangelo, twenty-two, right waist gunner. Joe’s position on the crew would be armorer and left waist gunner.
Over the following four days the newly assembled Purdy crew undertook several training flights in various B-24s, the first steps in developing the cohesion and trust that would bind them together as a team. They had not yet heard which unit they were to be assigned to, but rumor had it that the Liberator’s ability to fly longer distances than the Fortress made the B-24 the bomber of choice in the vast Pacific. Joe and his crewmates therefore assumed that when they received their assignment they would be heading west to one of the major ports in California or Washington, there to take ship for Australia.
When their orders arrived on Friday, December 4, however, the men found out just how wrong their assumptions had been. The Purdy crew was ordered to Biggs Army Airfield, at Fort Bliss, Texas, where it would join the still-forming 331st Bombardment Squadron. The unit was one of four squadrons that would constitute the 94th Bombardment Group (Heavy), which the rumor mill said was headed to Great Britain to join the Eighth Air Force in the nascent bombing campaign against Germany and German targets in Occupied Europe. While the change in war theaters was a surprise to Ed Purdy and his crew, it was nothing compared with the lightning bolt that was contained in the second paragraph of the movement order. Despite having trained as a B-24 crew, the men were being assigned to a B-17 group and would have to convert to the Fortress following their arrival in Texas. While the news significantly upset pilots Purdy and Harris—both of whom had spent months learning to fly the Liberator—and flight engineer Crisp, who’d spent just as long studying the B-24’s mechanical and power plant systems inside and out, Joe was rather pleased that he’d be able to go to war in a Fortress.
Early on Saturday, December 5, Ed Purdy and the nine other members of his crew boarded a train bound for El Paso. Whether the men liked it or not, they were about to become members of the 94th Bomb Group.
THE ORGANIZATION THAT JOE AND HIS CREWMATES WERE ABOUT TO JOIN had been activated on June 15, 1942, at MacDill Field in Tampa, Florida, with forty-year-old Colonel John G. Moore as the organization’s first commander.
“Dinty” Moore, as he was inevitably and respectfully known, was a West Point graduate who’d received his wings in 1928 and had gone on to operational tours in pursuit, attack, and reconnaissance units.5 His assignment as the 94th’s top officer was an acknowledgment of both his flying skills and his organizational acumen. While the former would be of immense value later in the group’s operational life, it was the latter talent that was most in demand in the early days. Moore’s undeniably daunting task was to turn a completely “paper” unit into a functioning military organization capable of taking thirty-six B-17 Flying Fortresses into combat over Occupied Europe, and to achieve the required “operational readiness” with all possible dispatch. The unit’s transformation would require many things—the acquisition of personnel and aircraft; the long hours of exhausting and often dangerous training required to meld men and machines into an effective fighting force; and the inevitable need to compete for essential resources and materiel with scores of other USAAF units that were all undertaking their own metamorphoses. Fortunately for Moore, he was ably assisted in his mission by a staff of ten subordinate officers, ranging in rank from second lieutenant to major.
Central Florida may have been the 94th Bomb Group’s birthplace, but the unit’s adolescence was spent far to the west, initially in the equally sunny but far less humid landscape of southern Arizona. By mid-October 1942 Moore and his growing staff had been ordered to Davis-Monthan Field, outside Tucson, where their bare-bones unit began to be fleshed out with the additional officers who would hold leadership positions in its four constituent bombardment squadrons—the 331st, 332nd, 333rd, and 410th. The ten members of each combat crew—who would actually man the group’s Fortresses—also began arriving at this point. Those trained from the start to fly Fortresses had already attended the five-week B-17 Combat Crew School at Hendricks Field, Florida, and then been sent to the replacement pool in Salt Lake City.
Although it would be the combat crews who would eventually take the war to the enemy, they would only be able to accomplish that mission with the help of hundreds of nonflying personnel. Mechanics, armorers, flight surgeons, medics, military police, cooks, and a range of other specialists would make up the bulk of the 94th, and they, too, began joining the unit in Tucson. By the time the 94th moved to Biggs Field on November 1, it had received about two-thirds of the 2,400 personnel required by its Table of Organization and Equipment.6
What the 94th didn’t have at that point, however, was sufficient aircraft.
The urgent need to deploy heavy bomber groups to Europe—and to replace aircraft lost in action there, in North Africa, and, to a lesser extent, in the Pacific—meant that most units still in training in the United States had to make do with fewer and generally older aircraft. This meant that stateside Flying Fortress units were usually equipped with B-17E models, the variant that had flown the early bombing missions from the United Kingdom in the summer and fall of 1942; the newer and more capable B-17F variants were only issued to the groups as they were preparing for overseas movement. In practical terms, this meant that even two weeks after arriving in Texas the 94th had just one Fortress for each squadron. And while the situation gradually improved, it wasn’t until after the group’s transfer to Pueblo Army Airfield, Colorado, in early January 1943 that it had acquired enough aircraft to begin flying three- and four-squadron training missions. These included both local-area flights and long-distance trips to bombing ranges in Arizona and California. Fortunately for Ed Purdy, Carroll Harris, and Russ Crisp, the transition from B-24 to B-17 was both easier and more enjoyable than they had expected it to be.
By February the 94th had progressed far enough in its training that USAAF planners deemed the unit ready for deployment to the United Kingdom. The group would travel in two echelons—the ground personnel by ship, and the combat crews by air along what was referred to as the northern ferry route.7 The former left New York harbor aboard the passenger liner–turned-troopship Queen Elizabeth on May 5, and after arrival in Scotland six days later boarded trains for the journey to the 94th’s first home in the British Isles, the former Royal Air Force base at Earls Colne in Essex.
For the aircrews, the trip across the Atlantic was somewhat less direct. On March 2 they undertook the first leg of the journey by train—to Smoky Hill Army Air Base in Salina, Kansas. Dozens of factory-fresh B-17F Fortresses awaited the aviators on the cold, windswept field, and among the first orders of business was for the pilot of each crew to select the aircraft he and his men would take to Britain and then into combat. The selection process was far from scientific: The serial numbers of the nine aircraft allocated to each squadron were written down on slips of paper and tossed together in an upturned hat. The squadron commander then held the hat as each pilot in turn pulled out a single slip; the serial number on the paper indicated the aircraft that the pilot and crew were assigned to.
Over the next few days the aviators got to know their new mounts, a process that involved one or two test flights to determine that the bombers were mechanically ready for the long overseas flight and that all of their subsystems worked as required. Since the final stages of the ferry route would cross areas where encounters with the enemy were possible, the breaking-in process included extensive testing of each Fortress’s powered gun turrets and individual handheld machine guns. The crews also used the shakedown period to apply a mutually agreed upon nickname to the side of their aircraft’s nose. These monikers ran the gamut from prosaic to witty to obscene, and were usually accompanied by a fitting illustration—most of which were painted on the aircraft by local airfield staffers who’d found a lucrative outlet for their artistic talents.
In the case of the Purdy crew, the choice of a name for their brand-new Fortress was based on the serial number emblazoned in yellow on the bomber’s olive-drab vertical stabilizer—42-29711. In craps, the dice game widely played by American servicemen of that era, the final three numbers of the B-17’s serial signified a “natural” 7 or 11 win on the first roll. Rolling a natural was considered an omen of very good luck—something everyone on the Purdy crew desperately hoped would accompany them throughout their time overseas—so the Fortress was unanimously christened Natural.8 The next order of business, of course, was to have the name and some sort of appropriate artwork applied to the bomber. The crew took up a collection and hired one of Smoky Hill’s most sought-after soldier-artists, a young African-American technical sergeant whose name has unfortunately been lost to history.
The man first painted Natural on the right side of the B-17’s nose. Though done in letters several inches tall, the nickname was dwarfed by the large and colorful artwork the young artist then applied on the same side, just forward of and below the cockpit. Within a two-foot-wide bright yellow circle stooped an African-American man wearing a red-and-white striped shirt, matching socks, black pants, and black shoes. The figure was frozen in the act of rolling a pair of dice, which appeared enlarged at his feet to show that the top face of one bore four black dots and the other three, while the lower side of the first showed five dots and the second, six. We have to wonder, of course, how the young artist felt about the image he was asked to create.9
Within two weeks of arriving in Kansas the 94th’s air echelon was ready to move on, though that turned out to be more of a problem than anyone had anticipated. The individual squadrons left Smoky Hill over a period of two days, but engine problems soon forced many aircraft—including Natural
- "Stephen Harding has done it again. With this well-researched, well-written and genuinely exciting account of American airmen shot down over Occupied France and hidden by the French Resistance in Paris, he has proved that he has an extraordinary feel for the hitherto untold stories of World War II."—Andrew Roberts, bestselling author of Churchill: Walking with Destiny
- "Escape from Paris is a thrilling, brilliantly told true tale of heroism, love, and escape, set in the dark shadows of Nazi Paris. Tense and compulsively readable from beginning to end."—Alex Kershaw, bestselling author of The First Wave
"Escape from Paris has the emotional pull of a great thriller, yet it's a true and memorable account of the interlinked heroism of courageous American bomber crews downed in enemy territory and intrepid French resisters who risked everything to spirit them to safety. History of a high order rendered with verve and riveting authenticity."
—Donald L. Miller, bestselling author of Masters of the Air
- "From the first exhilarating moments of a fierce air battle over France, Stephen Harding delivers page-after-page of high adventure, intrigue and drama. He paints a vivid, unforgettable portrait of Nazi-occupied Paris and the efforts of a band of resistance fighters who risk everything to secret downed Allied airmen to freedom. Bravo!"—Neal Bascomb, author of The Escape Artists
- "From Stephen Harding, a brilliant and thrilling recreation of a great World War II story, a story of love in time of war. Harding is a scrupulous and knowledgeable author and, caution; you will not put Escape from Paris down until you've finished it. Very highly recommended."—Alan Furst, New York Times bestselling author of Mission to Paris
"Stephen Harding's Escape from Paris is fascinating and a terrific read. I honestly could not turn the pages fast enough. It is thrilling and terrifying in equal measure; an amazing story of love and resistance that -- almost unbelievably -- happens to be true."
—Anne Sebba, award-winning author of Les Parisiennes
- "In this thrilling WWII history,... Harding masterfully recreates thrilling details of air combat, the intrigue of the French Resistance, and the horrors of war. This masterfully told and dramatic tale will keep readers spellbound until the final page."—Publishers Weekly
- A poignant World War II saga of the relationship between an American gunner shot down over France and the French family who helped him...an engaging human story—Kirkus Reviews
- On Sale
- Oct 12, 2021
- Page Count
- 288 pages
- Hachette Books