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Frozen in Time : An Epic Story of Survival and a Modern Quest for Lost Heroes of World War II
by Mitchell Zuckoff

Overview -

Two harrowing crashes . . . A vanished rescue plane . . . A desperate fight for life in a frozen, hostile land . . . The quest to solve a seventy-year-old mystery

The author of the smash New York Times bestseller Lost in Shangri-La delivers a gripping true story of endurance, bravery, ingenuity, and honor set in the vast Arctic wilderness of World War II and today.  Read more...


 
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More About Frozen in Time by Mitchell Zuckoff
 
 
 
Overview

Two harrowing crashes . . . A vanished rescue plane . . . A desperate fight for life in a frozen, hostile land . . . The quest to solve a seventy-year-old mystery

The author of the smash New York Times bestseller Lost in Shangri-La delivers a gripping true story of endurance, bravery, ingenuity, and honor set in the vast Arctic wilderness of World War II and today.

On November 5, 1942, a U.S. cargo plane on a routine flight slammed into the Greenland ice cap. Four days later, a B-17 on the search-and-rescue mission became lost in a blinding storm and also crashed. Miraculously, all nine men on the B-17 survived. The U.S. military launched a second daring rescue operation, but the Grumman Duck amphibious plane sent to find the men flew into a severe storm and vanished.

In this thrilling adventure, Mitchell Zuckoff offers a spellbinding account of these harrowing disasters and the fate of the survivors and their would-be saviors. Frozen in Time places us at the center of a group of valiant airmen fighting to stay alive through 148 days of a brutal Arctic winter by sheltering from subzero temperatures and vicious blizzards in the tail section of the broken B-17 until an expedition headed by famed Arctic explorer Bernt Balchen attempts to bring them to safety.

But that is only part of the story that unfolds in Frozen in Time. In present-day Greenland, Zuckoff joins the U.S. Coast Guard and North South Polar--a company led by the indefatigable dreamer Lou Sapienza, who worked for years to solve the mystery of the Duck's last flight--on a dangerous expedition to recover the remains of the lost plane's crew.

Drawing on intensive research and Zuckoff 's firsthand account of the dramatic 2012 expedition, Frozen in Time is a breathtaking blend of mystery, adventure, heroism, and survival. It is also a poignant reminder of the sacrifices of our military personnel and their families--and a tribute to the important, perilous, and often-overlooked work of the U.S. Coast Guard.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780062133434
  • ISBN-10: 0062133438
  • Publisher: Harper
  • Publish Date: April 2013
  • Page Count: 416


Related Categories

Books > History > Military - World War II
Books > History > Military - United States
Books > History > Military - Aviation

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2013-03-11
  • Reviewer: Staff

In this harrowing true-life adventure, journalist Zuckoff (Lost in Shangri-La) follows the crew of an American B-17 bomber that crash-landed in 1942—while searching for another downed plane—on a vast glacier in the Greenland ice cap, one of the most isolated and inhospitable places on earth. With little food or cold-weather gear and an assortment of nasty injuries, the nine airmen found themselves trapped in a field of hidden, ever-shifting crevasses that threatened to swallow up their plane and made hiking even a few yards a mortal danger. Zuckoff juxtaposes their months-long battle against hurricane-blizzards, starvation, frost-bite, gangrene and madness with equally perilous rescue attempts by sled teams and military aviators flying through gales and white-outs. (His tense first-hand account of a 2012 expedition to locate the remains of one of those rescue flights buried in 30-foot-deep ice frames the story.) Zuckoff’s gripping narrative unfolds with immediacy and verve as men in fetid snow caves and sputtering aircraft pit their dogged camaraderie and desperate, white-knuckle improvisations against the fury of an Arctic winter. Photos. (May)

 
BookPage Reviews

An impossible tale of Arctic survival during WWII

In Frozen in Time, his second recounting of a largely forgotten World War II rescue mission, Mitchell Zuckoff shifts his focus from the steamy jungles of New Guinea—the locale of 2011’s Lost in Shangri-La—to the glacial wilderness of Greenland. Even before America entered the war, it began constructing military bases in Greenland, both to defend the frozen island against possible German invasion and to serve as a way station for ferrying planes from the U.S. to Britain. So much air traffic over such a hostile environment made crashes inevitable and rescue attempts perilous.

On November 5, 1942, a C-53 Skytrooper cargo plane crashed onto a glacier there. But its five-man crew survived the impact. One of the planes dispatched to locate the survivors was a B-17 bomber. It also went down in a snowstorm, leaving nine survivors stranded. Yet another rescue plane, a Grumman Duck, crashed after having transported two of the downed B-17’s crew to safety. These three crashes and their aftermaths form the core of Zuckoff’s account. Drawing on personal letters, recollections and official reports, he spins claustrophobically up-close stories of what it was like to be marooned for weeks and months in subfreezing temperatures with gravely ill comrades, insufficient supplies and dwindling hope.

Early in the book, Zuckoff introduces yet another level of drama. While amassing details for his main story, he encounters a modern-day adventurer who is intent on finding and retrieving the Grumman Duck, now buried under hundreds of feet of ice. Zuckoff joins in, helps finance the project and describes the bumpy course of this high-risk effort.

Astoundingly thorough in his research, Zuckoff not only chronicles the significant actions of dozens of “characters,” but he also probes their individual lives before they went to war, sketches in their personality traits, digs up their photographs and interviews their descendants. Thus, each character stands apart from the others.

Because so much of this narrative takes place against an unvarying backdrop of snow and ice, and because there are no real “villains” to heighten tension, Frozen in Time doesn’t have quite the same expansive, edge-of-your-seat quality that Lost in Shangri-La possesses. Even so, it is an engaging testimony to perseverance, ingenuity and monumental self-sacrifice.

 
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