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Under The Wire

4.33 of 5 stars 4.33  ·  rating details  ·  84 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Determined to take on the Nazis, Texan Bill Ash joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1939 and in so doing sacrificed his citizenship. Before long, he was sent to England wherehe flew Spitfires. Shot down over France in March 1942, he survived the crash-landing and, thanks to local civilians, evaded capture for months only to be betrayed to the Gestapo in Paris. Tortured ...more
Published June 5th 2006 by Bantam (first published 2005)
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I approached this book as a courtesy to the author, whose service in World War II deserved, in my opinion, some attention. What a marvelous surprise and delight to find it an entirely engrossing, well-told story of several slices of American History, some of which are not often told.

While the main story chronicles Bill Ash's experience flying Spitfire fighter planes for the RAF, his day of reckoning when he was shot down, and his remarkable experiences hiding from the Nazis in occupied Europe,
Despite the fact that this will be the third posting of the year for me, this was actually the first book that I read in 2013 and it may very well be the best book that I will read all year.

William Ash, now age 95, and his co-author Brendan Foley have created an immensely readable, very enjoyable story about young Bill Ash, an American who joined the Brits in fighting the Nazis by flying a Spitfire (a fighter plane) before America even joined the war.

Ash begins his story by telling about the dif
Jenny T
An amazing memoir about a "serial escapologist" from German POW camps during WWII--Bill Ash escaped a dozen times from terrible conditions and tragic experiences, yet maintained his compassion, humor, and humanity. Beautifully written and full of hope in times of despair.
Ian B
A superb book about a real life Steve McQueen during World War II. I was lucky enough to be sent a signed copy from the great Mr Ash himself after writing to the co-author after reading this great book. A classic of the genre.
World War II has always been one of my favorite reading topics, probably because I was born just a few months after the war ended. I've read hundreds of books about the war, and some of the most compelling stories were about Allied POW experiences. Books like Free as a Running Fox and The Colditz Story showed just how determined many POWs were to escape. When co-author Brendan Foley offered me a review copy of Under the Wire, I was glad to accept.

It's the remarkable story of American Bill Ash, w
A Brilliant Book again demonstrating that Fact is stranger than Fiction

At the time of this writing William Ash is 95: his story is told with the gifted aid of Brendan Foley who just happens to be writing the screenplay for the film that has been option that will make this incredible story a thriller of film.
From the advanced information about the release of this book comes the following information that in many ways summarizes the book well: ‘Born in Dallas in 1917, WILLIAM ASH worked his way th
Michael Emond
I am trying to recall how I stumbled on this non-fiction book – I just did a quick search of and verified Mark Evanier recommended it. It took me three weeks to get through it but I am very happy I did. It takes a while for me to get through a book like this because it is a time in history that is so depressing for me. How an entire country like Germany could go insane and decide to slaughter half the population and take over by force the other half is sad, frustrating, and ch ...more
Christopher Nye
I didn't expect to like this book, but I did.
It details the Second World war experiences of a Texan, born in 1917, who joined the Royal Air Force in 1940 and flew Spitfires before being shot down in 1942 and becoming an inveterate escaper from POW camps.
Because of his nationality, frequent long spells in solitary confinement following escape attempts, and close friendship with several of the Great Escape escapers he has been offered as a possible model for the Steve MacQueen character in the f
"My career choices were limited- I could become a prisoner, an escape artist or a corpse."

William Ash went half way across the world to fight against the Nazis when his country, the United States was still neutral. He just could not sit at home knowing the a just war was being fought and do nothing. His first attempt to join the Canadian military was a failure. He was too skinny. He went back across the border, gorged himself for a week and weighed in with success. "The fact that so many of us A
Marc Stevens
A fabulous true story of heroism and persistence by one of the most active POW escapers of WW2
Michael Grant
Enjoyed it. Great true story. Well worth a read.
very good
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Born in Dallas in 1917, WILLIAM ASH worked his way through school and college during the Great Depression, graduating from the University of Texas at Austin, to the heights of elevator operator, then Hobo.

At the outbreak of war in Europe he rode the rails to Canada and enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1940. A Spitfire pilot, he saw action over England and France. He was shot down near C
More about William Ash...
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