Under the Wire
When the United States dallied unforgivably long before entering World War II, young Texan WILLIAM ASH forfeited his American citizenship to join the Royal Canadian Air Force and fight Hitler. UNDER THE WIRE (Thomas Dunne Books), co-authored with Brendan Foley, captures Ash’s short but impressive career as a Spitfire fighter pilot and his longer stint as a prisoner of war. He acquired a well-deserved reputation as a serial escape artist, springing himself from various prison camps, including Stalag Luft III (of the legendary Great Escape). Ash maintains a wry perspective whether recounting the olfactory horrors of a secret tunnel dug from a latrine or the misery inflicted by the Gestapo. Post-WWII, he settled in London, and now, at age 87, he offers a memoir that summons both nostalgia for the adrenaline rush of combat and revulsion at the tragedies of POW camps.