This past weekend I finished reading Under the Wire, a book by William Ash that details his travels from an American drifter to a Spitfire pilot in the British Royal Air Force to an eventual prisoner of war in WWII occupied Europe.

Ash was one of the remarkable POWs that spent their entire time in captivity plotting and executing escape attempts for their various camps. These escapades led to the 1963 movie The Great Escape, which details fictional escapes based upon the real escapes from the Stalag Luft III prison camp.

Like any book of the WWII generation, you get a tremendous sense of how ordinary men and women performed extraordinary feats during the circumstances of war. Anytime you are fortunate enough to meet one of rapidly dwindling number of WWII veterans be sure to thank them for their gift to all of us, even if they themselves don’t feel they did anything special.

Overall I’d give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.