In 1944, as World War II israging across Europe, fifteen-year-old Jack Raabdreams of being a hero. Leaving New York City, hisfamily, and his boyhood behind, Jack uses a falseI.D. and lies his way into the U.S. AirForce.
From their base in England, he and his crewfly twenty-four treacherous bombing missions overoccupied Europe. The war is almost over and Hitlernear defeat when they fly their last mission -- amission destined for disaster. Shot down farbehind enemy lines, Jack is taken prisoner and sent toa German POW camp, where his experiences are moreterrifying than anything he'd ever imagined.
About the Author
Harry Mazer's The Last Mission is drawn closely from his experiences as a seventeen-year-old in the Army Air Corps. Like Jack, he was a Jewish boy from the Bronx full of fantasies about heroism, and like Jack, he became a waist gunner and never fired his guns. He remembers, "I was scared every time we flew....On our 26th mission we flew over Pilzen, Czechoslovakia, to bomb the Skoda Munitions Works. We missed our target, turned over the target again, and were hit. I saw Mike, who was our radio operator, frozen in the door of the radio room. He never made it out of the plane. Only three of us parachuted....No one in the plane lived." ( ALAN Review, Fall 1980) Harry Mazer is the editor of Twelve Shots: Outstanding Short Stories About Guns, where twelve authors explore the extreme emotions that guns provoke in all of us. Walter Dean Myers, Rita Williams-Garcia, Richard Peck and other well-known authors create a riveting collection of short fiction that explores the emotion-driven world of guns."