VANSeveral of the books I have featured here have been about untold stories from World War II. It is amazing to me that 70 years on we are still finding compelling stories from that era and we are still interested. That is a good thing of course as we all need to learn from history and be inspired by stories of incredible sacrifice and heroism – two things that are not so evident today.

In the book, Vanished: The Sixty-Year Search for the Missing Men of World War II by Wil S. Hylton, we have another great WWII story that took the full 70 years to tell. Mr. Hylton presents an epic story that starts as a narrative of a missing bomber and turns into detective procedural of sorts to solve a long-standing mystery – all of which is great reading.

About Vanished: The Sixty-Year Search for the Missing Men of World War II by Wil S. Hylton: “From a mesmerizing storyteller, the gripping search for a missing World War II crew, their bomber plane, and their legacy. In the fall of 1944, a massive American bomber carrying eleven men vanished over the Pacific islands of Palau, leaving a trail of mysteries. According to mission reports from the Army Air Forces, the plane crashed in shallow water—but when investigators went to find it, the wreckage wasn’t there. Witnesses saw the crew parachute to safety, yet the airmen were never seen again. Some of their relatives whispered that they had returned to the United States in secret and lived in hiding. But they never explained why. For sixty years, the U.S. government, the children of the missing airmen, and a maverick team of scientists and scuba divers searched the islands for clues. With every clue they found, the mystery only deepened. Now, in a spellbinding narrative, Wil S. Hylton weaves together the true story of the missing men, their final mission, the families they left behind, and the real reason their disappearance remained shrouded in secrecy for so long. This is a story of love, loss, sacrifice, and faith—of the undying hope among the families of the missing, and the relentless determination of scientists, explorers, archaeologists, and deep-sea divers to solve one of the enduring mysteries of World War II.”

There is a common saying – the truth is stranger than fiction – and in the case of the story told in Vanished, this is very true. If someone pitched this story to you as the plot of a novel you would say that it was too far-fetched. But alas, it is all true and in the very capable hands of Mr. Hylton, it’s a story very well told.

Vanished: The Sixty-Year Search for the Missing Men of World War II by Wil S. Hylton is available from Amazon and other fine book retailers.