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Shot Down!


It’s said that in a POW camp, only 25 percent of the prisoners are interested in escaping, and only 5 percent are what is known as “dedicated escapers.” John Curnow was one of the 5 percent.

When he lied about his age and joined the Royal Air Force at age 17, John didn’t know that the life expectancy of an RAF crewman flying over enemy territory was calculated in weeks, not years. After his plane exploded, he suddenly found himself riding a parachute down to German-occupied France—the sole survivor among his crewmates.

John Curnow was as determined as anyone on earth to have and defend freedom. Time and again, he escaped his captors. But, after each escape, he found himself held captive again. After the war, bad habits and fast-paced life, going nowhere, held him.

Then one day, his arm seemed to be shackled. When his hand refused to turn off the quartet singing “lift Up the Trumpet” on the radio, John began to find his way to true, enduring freedom at last.