M Metzger – Guest Contributor
Jun 26 @ 7:00 pm
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This week, the Oak Cliff Lions Club hosted John “Lucky” Luckadoo, the 102-year-old World War II B-17 bomber pilot and subject of the book “Damn Lucky.”

“We were so darn young. – innocent, gullible and naïve going up against a very formidable enemy – the German Air Force, which at that time was the most formidable force in the world,” he said. “We did not have any clue what we were going to be confronted with, but we soon found out.”

Trained as a pilot with the United States Air Force, Second Lieutenant Luckadoo was assigned to the 100th Bomb Group stationed in Thorpe Abbotts, England known as the "Bloody 100th." Between June and October 1943, he flew B-17 Flying Fortresses over France and Germany on bombing runs devised to destroy the Nazi war machine.

With a shrapnel torn Bible in his flight jacket pocket and his girlfriend’s silk stocking around his neck like a scarf as talismans, Luckadoo piloted through Luftwaffe machine-gun fire and antiaircraft flak while enduring subzero temperatures to complete twenty-five missions and his combat service. The average bomber crew rarely survived after eight to twelve missions. 

The packed room hung on every word as he answered questions about the conditions and his injury from frostbite.

Also in attendance was Past President Dr. Bill Lawhorn, also a World War II veteran. The two shared stories and honored the club with their presence. When he finished his presentation, the whole room stood and honored him for his tremendous courage and sacrifices.