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Two Gold Coins and a Prayer: The Epic Journey of a World War II Bomber Pilot, Evader, and POW Paperback – June 1, 2010
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Impeccably researched and skillfully written, this superb account of Mr. Keeffe's experience will leave the reader not only amazed, but also emotionally moved. This is far and away one of the best 8th Air Force and POW accounts that has ever been written. It was a joy and a pleasure to read... --8th Air Force News
About the Author
James H. Keeffe III, eldest son of James H. Keeffe Jr., spent his early years traveling the world with his military family. He has been working in IT data networking for the past eight years for Group Health Cooperative. He resides in Fall City, Washington with his wife Paula and daughter Reilly. James H. Keeffe Jr., a WWII and Korean War veteran, received his degree in meteorology at UCLA. During his 22 years in the Air Force, he was a pilot, weatherman, and instructor. He lives in Bellevue, Washington with his wife Sandy. They have six children and many grandchildren.
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This book is thoroughly enjoyable and easy to read and quite an interesting in its perspective. There are not a lot of books about the Dutch underground and the struggles they had against the Germans. They were a country divided and as such at war with themselves as much as anyone else. The book goes into great detail into how the resistance moved allied airmen about and sometimes to freedom. This of course, was done at great risk to their own lives.
The author also writes extensively about how he was betrayed and the conditions he experienced in various POW camps the Germans ran. Some of them were more orderly and sanitary than others but none were good places to be. It books becomes very interesting when the entire POW camp moves West to avoid conflict with the approaching Russians. A number of POWs were captured by the Russians and kept for prolonged periods of time.
The book is very interesting as it shows a different perspective of the war. This man endured a lot and persevered. I suspect the same kind of mental conditioning and thinking that made him a pilot is the same way of thinking allowed him to survive being a captive. One thing is for certain, there was no lack of creativity or resourcefulness in these men.
Over all I enjoyed the book tremendously. If you are interested in more information regarding the air war in Europe I would suggest reading, “Shot at and Missed,” by Jack Myersand The Wrong Stuff,” by Truman Smith. Both are excellent examples of first person accounts of the air war from a bombers viewpoint, If you would like to spend your time with the French resistance I would suggest reading, “Bailout over Normandy,” by Ted Fahrenwald.
I wanted to read this book mainly for his experiences evading capture in Holland, and eventually as a POW in Stalag Luft III (home of the "Great Escape") after being betrayed by a group of undercover German secret police posing as a group that helps the resistance to get downed American and British flyers out of Europe.
The book is very well-written and gives you a great picture of what life was like under the Nazi regime, as well as what POW life was like.
Definitely worth it.